Gardening

Soapweed: a medicinal soap herb


Forming a shower of small phlox-like flowers, the soapwort is known for its medicinal properties.

In decoction, infusion, lotion, shampoo or poultice, the saponaria wants you good!

Soapwort, pretty pink flowers

The soap plant is a perennial that is part of the Caryophyllaceae family. Native to mountainous areas, this hardy plant is easy to live with. It is characterized by opposite leaves, tender green and oval with a pointed tip. They are distributed around an erect and sturdy stem. We recognize it thanks to its generous flowering! The flowers are more or less pale pink and divided into a bouquet.

From June to October, they give off a light fragrance before giving way to fruits. The latter are capsules containing small, dark, rounded seeds. The soapwort forms tracing rhizomes which make it abundant.

Therapeutic benefits of Saponaria officinalis

The soapwort helps relieve skin conditions, kidney and liver problems. This life-saving plant promotes circulation, regulates blood pressure and acts as an antiallergic. It has depurative and expectorant properties, thus helping to eliminate toxins. Thanks to the benefits, soapwort is used for:

  • Relieve skin conditions: wounds, acne, shingles, ulcer
  • Fight against allergies: eczema, psoriasis, urticaria
  • Treat bronchitis, asthma and congested airways
  • Improve blood circulation
  • Limit dandruff and itchy scalp

How to treat yourself with the soapwort?

In decoction:

To release the fight against inflammation of the respiratory tract, it is a decoction of the roots that should be made. Just boil 25g of roots in 250ml of water for 8 minutes. Then filter and put in a cup with a little honey for its softening effect.

In lotion:

Against acne, you can apply the flowers directly to the skin lesions. Otherwise, feel free to make a lotion. To do this, collect 125g of roots which you will boil in 1L of fresh water. Boil for 10 minutes before straining, then let cool.

In shampoo:

Put 50cl of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Chop 25g of leaves and roots and place in the water. Once the water boils, lower the heat and cover. Wait for 5 minutes. Then turn off the heat and let cool. Use this preparation as a shampoo as usual.

As a poultice:

Place 70g of leaves and flowers in 1L of water and boil. Then place the vegetation between two cloths and place on the affected areas, especially in the throat.

Contraindications and precautions

Be careful to respect the prescribed doses and the boiling times. Indeed, after the recommended time, it is necessary to filter immediately and not to let the plant macerate.

Having a high saponin content, it is beneficial if the dosages and duration of treatment are respected.

It becomes toxic if we break through these limits. It can cause paralysis of movement, lower blood pressure and lower body temperature. Young children, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid consuming it.

Cultivate the soapwort

Plantation:

The soapwort appreciates a light, cool but drained soil. Place this plant in full sun! The more southerly regions can afford to install it in partial shade. Planting takes place in the fall or spring.

  • Then dig a hole slightly larger than the volume of the root ball.
  • Place the latter in water a few minutes before planting.
  • If your soil is heavy, cut it with sand. If it is poor, add a handful of ripe compost.
  • Anyway, put the root ball in the hole, recap and tamp.
  • Water to promote good rooting. Keep 30cm of distance between each plant.

Interview :

At the end of flowering, cut back the tuft to prevent it from reseeding itself. Soapweed hardly needs any maintenance other than watering the first year. Be careful, the substrate should never be soaked. You can optionally remove wilted flowers regularly, so that the plant produces new ones.

Video: Horsetail Medicine (October 2020).