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!

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Pimpernel

Scientific Names

Pimpinella saxifraga

  • Pimpinella saxifraga L.
  • Pimpinella magna L.
  • Primrose family

Common Names

Pimpinella magna:

  • Greater pimpinella
  • False pimpernel
  • Pimpinella

Pimpinella saxifraga:

  • Burnet saxifrage
  • European burnet saxifrage
  • Pimpinella
  • Saxifrage
  • Small burnet saxifrage
  • Small pimpernel
  • Small saxifrage

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Parts Usually Used

Rootstock for both
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Pimpinella magna

Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Pimpinella magna:
Greater pimpernel is a European perennial plant; reaches a height of 3 feet, the stem bears alternate, odd-pinnate leaves on long petioles dilated at the base. The leaflets are ovate and coarsely toothed, the terminal leaflet more or less 3-lobed. The small, purple or bluish flowers grow in compound umbels from June to September.

Pimpinella saxifraga:
Burnet saxifrage is a European perennial plant; a gnarled, twisted rootstock produces a round, finely grooved, branched stem with alternate, pinnate leaves. The leaflets are variable in shape, ranging from ovate to oblong-lanceolate, and from coarsely toothed to ternately incised. White or yellow-white flowers grow in compound umbels from July to October.

Another variety: Pimpinella anisum is reported on elsewhere as anise.
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Where Found

Pimpinella magna:
Grows along the edges of woods, in marshy meadows, and in other wet places.

Pimpinella saxifraga:
Found on slopes and pastures, among bushes, and along the edges of woods, shorelines, and roadsides.
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Medicinal Properties

Pimpinella magna:
Antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic

Pimpinella saxifraga:
Antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, stomachic
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Legends, Myths and Stories

Burnet saxifrage is used to flavor wine.

David Conway, in his book The Magic of Herbs, states that pimpernel is named Anagallis arvensis of the family Primulaceae. Use of the herb is different from Pimpinella, description is different. Care should be taken to identify the correct plant before using it.
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Uses

Pimpinella magna:
A decoction is good for a gargle of sore throat, colds, bronchitis, and inflammation of the larynx. Used as a remedy for scarlet fever, measles, and German measles. Digestive problems and flatulence responds nicely; the fresh root is used to relieve diarrhea. The tincture can be taken for heartburn.

Pimpinella saxifraga:
The powdered rootstock used for articular rheumatism, gout, bladder stones, and kidney inflammations. The infusion taken cold is good for dyspepsia. The seed is somewhat like anise; stimulates milk flow in nursing mothers.

Good for cuts, wounds, running sores, toothache, sore throat, earache, and piles.
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Formulas or Dosages

Pimpinella magna:
Cold extract: soak 1 tsp. dried rootstock in 1 cup cold water for 10 hours.

Infusion: steep the rootstock used to make the cold extract in boiling water and add the resulting tea to the cold extract. Take 1 to 2 cups a day, sweetened with honey if desired.

Decoction: boil 1 tbsp. dried root in 1 cup water. Use as a gargle.

Tincture: a dose is 10 drops, taken on a sugar cube.

Pimpinella saxifraga:
Infusion: steep 1 tsp. of root in a cup of boiling water, let cool, strain, and drink 1 or 2 cups a day cold, a large swallow at a time. Best remedy known for sour stomach.

Powder: take 1/2 tsp. in water, 3 times a day.
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Bibliography

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! 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 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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