Herb: Cancer Weed

Latin name: Salvia lyrata

Family: Labiatae

Medicinal use of Cancer Weed:

The plant is diaphoretic and mildly laxative. It can be used in the treatment of diarrhoea, coughs and colds. The fresh leaves are applied to remove warts. The plant is also a folk remedy for cancer. The leaves and seeds are made into an ointment to cure wounds and sores. The root can be used to make a salve for sores.

Description of the plant:


60 cm
(2 feet)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Sandy soils and lawns.

Propagation of Cancer Weed:

Seed - sow March/April in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in early summer. In areas where the plant is towards the limits of its hardiness, it is best to grow the plants on in a greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood succeed at almost any time in the growing season.

Cultivation of the herb:

Sandy soils and lawns.

Known hazards of Salvia lyrata:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.