Ragwort - Senecio jacobaea Ragwort - Senecio jacobaea
Foto: botanika.wendys.cz

Herb: Ragwort

Latin name: Senecio jacobaea

Family: Compositae

Medicinal use of Ragwort:

The plant is astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue and expectorant. The plant is harvested as it comes into flower and is dried for later use. Use with caution, when applied internally it can cause severe damage to the liver. See also the notes above on toxicity. An emollient poultice is made from the leaves. The juice of the plant is cooling and astringent, it is used as a wash in burns, sores, cancerous ulcers and eye inflammations. It makes a good gargle for ulcerated mouths and throats and is also said to take away the pain of a bee sting. Caution is advised here since the plant is poisonous and some people develop a rash from merely touching this plant. A decoction of the root is said to be good for treating internal bruises and wounds. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant. It is used in the treatment of dysmenorrhoea and other female complaints, internal haemorrhages and other internal disorders.

Description of the plant:


100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

June to

Habitat of the herb:

Waste ground and pastures on all but the poorest soils. It is often only an annual.

Other uses of Ragwort:

A good green dye is obtained from the leaves, though it is not very permanent. A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers when alum is used as a mordant. Brown and orange can also be obtained.

Propagation of the herb:

A noxious weed, it doesn"t need any help in spreading itself about.

Cultivation of Ragwort:

Waste ground and pastures on all but the poorest soils. It is often only an annual.

Known hazards of Senecio jacobaea:

All parts of the plant are poisonous. The plant contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, in isolation these substances are highly toxic to the liver and have a cumulative affect even when the whole plant is consumed.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.