Herb: Wild Coffee

Latin name: Triosteum perfoliatum

Family: Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)

Medicinal use of Wild Coffee:

A decoction of the leaves is diaphoretic. It is used in the treatment of fever and ague. The roots are diaphoretic, diuretic, laxative, pectoral and stomachic. In large doses they are emetic and cathartic. An infusion of the root has been used to treat severe colds, pneumonia, irregular or profuse menses, painful urination, stomach problems and constipation. The infusion has also been used as an aid to putting on weight for both adults and babies. A poultice of the roots is applied to snakebites, sores and felons. An infusion of the plant has been used for soaking sore feet. An ooze from the plant has been used as a wash for swollen legs. The rhizome contains an alkaloid and has been used as a cathartic.

Description of the plant:


100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

to July

Habitat of the herb:

Rich soils. Shady positions in forests on limestone soils.

Edible parts of Wild Coffee:

The dried and roasted seeds have been used as a coffee substitute. Opinions on the taste vary wildly.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - we have no information for this species but suggest sowing the seed in a cold frame in early spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring.

Cultivation of Wild Coffee:

Rich soils. Shady positions in forests on limestone soils.

Known hazards of Triosteum perfoliatum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.