The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!

Figwort

Scientific Names

Figwort

  • Scrophularia nodosa L.
  • Scrophularia scorodonia
  • Scrophulariaceae
  • Figwort family

Common Names

  • Carpenter’s square
  • Figwort root
  • Heal-all
  • Kernelwort
  • Knotty-rooted figwort
  • Rosenoble
  • Scrofula plant
  • Throatwort

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Parts Usually Used

Entire plant
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Figwort

Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Figwort is a perennial plant that grows 2-4 feet high; the knobby rootstock is brown outside, whitish and fibrous inside. The erect, quadrangular, glabrous stem bears opposite, ovate to lanceolate, serrate leaves with an offensive odor. (Foliage is variegated green and creamy yellow on the S. n. variegata variety). Small globular, dark purple flowers appear in terminal panicles from June to October. Full sun or partial shade; zones 6-9. The plant is disease-free. It goes dormant in the fall; will seed itself so freely it can become a weed.

Other varieties: also called figwort (Scrophularia marilandica); the Chinese figwort (S. oldhami) is called Hsuau-shen.
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Where Found

Found in rich, damp woodlands, wastelands, and thickets from Maine to Georgia and Tennessee, and west to South Dakota and Kansas. Native to Europe and temperate Asia.
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Medicinal Properties

Diuretic, exanthematous, anodyne, depurative

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Biochemical Information

Scrophularia nodosa: Stereoptene, propionic and acetic acid

Biological activities (Scrophularia scorodonia)

ABeta-Inhibitor Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
ACE-Inhibitor Syringin found in Stem
Adaptogenic Syringin found in Stem
Adenylate-Cyclase-Inhibitor Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Aldose-Reductase-Inhibitor Verbascoside found in Flower, Leaf, Stem
Analgesic Harpagide found in Plant
Harpagoside found in Flower, Leaf, Plant, Stem
Verbascoside found in Flower, Leaf, Stem
AntiHIV Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antiaggregant Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antiallergic Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antialzheimeran Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antianaphylactic Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antiarrhythmic Harpagoside found in Flower, Leaf, Plant, Stem
Antiarthritic Harpagide found in Plant
Antiatherosclerotic Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antibacterial Aucubin found in Plant
Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Verbascoside found in Flower, Leaf, Stem
Anticoagulant Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Anticomplementary Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Syringin found in Stem
Antidepressant Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antiedemic Aucubin found in Plant
Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antifeedant Verbascoside found in Flower, Leaf, Stem
Antigonadotropic Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antihemolytic Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antihepatotoxic Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Verbascoside found in Flower, Leaf, Stem
Antiherpetic Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antihypertensive Verbascoside found in Flower ;found in Leaf ;found in Stem
Antihyperthyroid Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antiinflammatory 8-acetylharpagide found in Plant
Aucubin found in Plant
Bartsioside found in Leaf, Plant
Harpagide found in Plant
Harpagoside found in Flower, Leaf, Plant, Stem
Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Verbascoside found in Flower, Leaf, Stem
Antiintegrase Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antileukemic Aucubin found in Plant
Verbascoside found in Flower, Leaf, Stem
Antileukotriene Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antilipoperoxidant Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antimutagenic Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antinephritic Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antioxidant Aucubin found in Plant
Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Verbascoside found in Flower, Leaf, Stem
Antiplaque Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antiprolactin Aucubin found in Plant
Antiproliferant Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antiprostaglandin Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antiproteolytic Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antipulmonotic Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antipyretic Syringin found in Stem
Antiradicular Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antiseptic Verbascoside found in Flower, Leaf, Stem
Antishock Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antistaph Verbascoside found in Flower, Leaf, Stem
Antistaphylococcic Aucubin found in Plant
Antistress Syringin found in Stem
Antithyreotropic Syringin found in Stem
Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antithyroid Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antitumor Verbascoside found in Flower, Leaf, Stem
Antiuremic Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Antiviral Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Anxiolytic Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Apoptotic Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
COX-1-Inhibitor
Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
COX-2-Inhibitor
Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Calcium-Antagonist Harpagide found in Plant
Harpagoside found in Flower, Leaf, Plant, Stem
Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Cancer-Preventive Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Candidicide Aucubin found in Plant
Cathartic Aucubin found in Plant
Collagenic Aucubin found in Plant
Cytotoxic 8-o-acetylharpagide found in Leaf, Plant
Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Verbascoside found in Flower, Leaf, Stem
Deiodinase-Inhibitor Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Diuretic Aucubin found in Plant
Fungicide Verbascoside found in Flower, Leaf, Stem
Hepatoprotective Aucubin found in Plant
Hypertensive Verbascoside found in Flower, Leaf, Stem
Immunomodulator Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Syringin found in Stem
Immunostimulant Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Syringin found in Stem
Immunosuppressant Verbascoside found in Flower, Leaf, Stem
Lactagogue Aucubin found in Plant
Laxative Aucubin found in Plant
Lipoxygenase-Inhibitor
Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Verbascoside found in Flower, Leaf, Stem
Neuroprotective Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Neurotropic Syringin found in Stem
PKC-Inhibitor Verbascoside found in Flower, Leaf, Stem
Paralytic Aucubin found in Plant
Pesticide Aucubin found in Plant
Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Verbascoside found in Flower, Leaf, Stem
Phytoalexin Verbascoside found in Flower, Leaf, Stem
RNA-Inhibitor Aucubin found in Plant
Radioprotective Rosmarinic-acid found in Plant
Tonic Syringin found in Stem
Uricosuric Aucubin found in Plant

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Uses

Figwort primarily is for external use; a skin medication for eczema, scabies, scurf, tumors, rashes, etc. Made into an ointment or fomentation it is used on scratches, bruises, and minor wounds. Treatments: deobstruent to the glandular system, tonsillitis, scrofula (tuberculosis of the lymph glands), gout, rheumatism, sluggish digestion, constipation, piles, takes away all redness, spots, and freckles of the face. Externally, for ringworm, psoriasis, varicose veins, piles, swelling, abscesses, ulcers, leprosy, boils, and itch.
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Formulas or Dosages

Infusion: use 1 heaping tsp. of the plant with 1 cup water. Take 1-2 cups per day. Figwort has a bitter taste and may be sweetened with honey.

Poultice: use the leaves, crush and apply as a poultice.

Tincture: take 1/2 to 1 tsp. at a time. Also may be used externally.
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Warning

Figwort stimulates the heart; avoid use in cases of rapid heartbeat or heart problems.
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Resource Links

Natural Medicine Facts: Scrophularia scorodonia

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Bibliography

Buy It! American Folk Medicine, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

Buy It! Back to Eden, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994

Buy It! Chinese Medicinal Herbs, compiled by Shih-Chen Li, Georgetown Press, San Francisco, California, 1973.

Buy It! The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

Buy It! Culpeper’s Complete Herbal & English Physician: Updated With 117 Modern Herbs, by Nicholas Culpeper, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1990, (reprint of 1814)

Buy It! Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Herbal Gardening, compiled by The Robison York State Herb Garden, Cornell Plantations, Matthaei Botanical Gardens of the University of Michigan, University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley., Pantheon Books, Knopf Publishing Group, New York, 1994, first edition

Buy It!The Magic of Herbs, by David Conway, published by Jonathan Cape, Thirty Bedford Square, London, England. (Out of print)

Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

Buy It! The Rodale Herb Book: How to Use, Grow, and Buy Nature’s Miracle Plants (An Organic gardening and farming book), edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

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