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!


Scientific Names


  • Sempervivum tectorum L.
  • Crassulaceae
  • Lily family

Common Names

  • Aaron’s rod
  • Bullock’s eye
  • Hen and chicks
  • Hens and chickens
  • Jove’s beard
  • Jupiter’s eye
  • Jupiter’s beard
  • Live-forever
  • Thunder plant

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Parts Usually Used

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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Houseleek is a perennial European plant; the fibrous rootstock produces a thick rosette of fleshy, spinypointed leaves and an erect, round stem covered with small, scalelike leaves. The stem is topped by a cluster of starlike, rose-colored flowers during July and August.
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Where Found

Cultivated and also grows wild in dry, stony soils, on walls, and even on the roofs of houses.
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Medicinal Properties

Astringent, refrigerant, vulnerary
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Legends, Myths and Stories

The Greeks regarded houseleek, known as Strotgethron, as a powerful love philtre.

The flowers were once thought to be unlucky and were usually cut off before they could bloom.

Once was common everywhere on garden walls and on the roofs of buildings, houseleek is now sold as a pot or rockery plant by horticulturists. Houseleeks traditionally come under the patronage of Jupiter (though in magic they belong to Venus) and were formerly known as Jove’s Beard (Jovis Barba). So strong was the belief in their ability to deflect lightning that Charlemagne ordered that every dwelling in his empire should have them on its roof.
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Fresh bruised leaves used for cooling application on the forehead during feverish illnesses, can be used for burns, insect bites, headaches, and other skin problems. The juice pressed from the leaves, used as eardrops, or the leaves themselves sliced in half, used for warts, corns, freckles, ringworms, boils, bruises, ulcers, erysipelas, and other skin blemishes. An infusion of the leaves used internally, or a decoction used externally, for shingles, hemorrhoids, worms, and uterine neuralgia, rubbed gently on nettle stings or bee stings to take away the pain.
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Formulas or Dosages

Use only fresh leaves.

Infusion or decoction: use 1 tsp. leaves with 1 cup water. Take 1 cup per day.

Tincture: take 5-20 drops at a time. Also, can be applied to warts, ringworms, and skin blemishes.
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Buy It! American Folk Medicine, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

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! The Herbalist Almanac, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, copyright 1988, fifth printing, 1994

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

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

Buy It! The Nature Doctor: A Manual of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel; Keats Publishing, Inc., 27 Pine Street (Box 876) New Canaan, CT. 06840-0876. Copyright Verlag A. Vogel, Teufen (AR) Switzerland 1952, 1991

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

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