USA. Figwort (Scrophularia nodosa), Aerial Parts, Certified Organic
Common names: Scrofula Plant, Braunwurz, Carpenter's Square, Escrofularia, Kernelwort, Knopig Helmkruid, L'Herbe Chancreuse, Reuwe Di Tchin, Rose Noble, Siraca Otu, Throatwort, Herbe du Siège, Herbe au Ecrouelles, Knoldbrunro, Deilen DduFamily: Scrophulariaceae
Figwort is a perennial plant found in many temperate areas of the Northern hemisphere, growing around 3-5 feet tall. It thrives in moist, disturbed soils, and in forests.
The Scrophularia genus contains more than 200 species. Its name comes from the traditional use of Figwort for treating scrofula, a tuberculous infection of the cervical lymph nodes.
Herbalists consider Figwort an alterative, increasing the detoxification process. Typically, alterative herbs are given for skin conditions, and Figwort has been prescribed for eczema, psoriasis, acne, scabies, age spots, and pemphigus, either as a tea or tincture, or topically, as a fomentation. Like many alteratives, Figwort’s detoxifying action is effected partly through its mild diuretic effect, which makes it helpful for reducing edema.
It is especially noted for clearing lymphatic stagnation when the nodes are swollen, and for problems such as hemorrhoids (the “fig” in Figwort refers to an old term for piles), varicose veins and phlebitis, breast and ovarian cysts, tonsillitis, appendicitis, and lipomas. Detoxifying herbs, including Figwort, are often traditional remedies for arthritis. Figwort is said to relieve pain, stimulate the liver and kidneys, strengthen the contraction of the heart, assist wound and abscess healing, allay colic and constipation, and fight bacterial and parasitic infections.
Active compounds in Figwort included amino acids, flavonoids, iridoids, phenolic acids, saponins, alkaloids, and glycosides. There is less research on this herb compared to many other plants, although there is significant interest in iridoids. Published studies on Figwort confirm its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, its antispasmodic and wound healing effects, and its antibacterial, anti-fungal, and analgesic actions.
It has been suggested that the anti-inflammatory iridoids and other compounds found in Figwort make it “a significant herb in the treatment of functional and arthritic joint disease,” apparently “very well tolerated and particularly useful in exacerbations of painful joint pain… it could be particularly useful in psoriatic arthritis and thus of use as an alterative alongside other herbs in treatment of this condition.” This source notes that Figwort may offer an effective alternative to Devil’s Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) Root, another herb rich in iridoids, and widely used to treat arthritis, given that the sustainability of wild harvesting H. procumbens from deserts in southern Africa appears questionable.
Figwort should be avoided during pregnancy and lactation.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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