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


  • Ligustrum vulgare L.
  • Ligustrum lucidum
  • Oleaceae
  • Olive family

Common Names

  • Prim
  • Primwort
  • Privy

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Parts Usually Used

Leaves, bark
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Privet is a deciduous shrub; grows to 15 feet in the natural state, the stems bear dark green, opposite, oblong-ovate to lanceolate leaves 1 or 2 inches long and about 1/2 as wide. The small, white, funnelform flowers grow in dense, pyramidal panicles during June and July. The fruit is a shiny black berry.
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Where Found

Grows wild in southern Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia and is commonly cultivated as a hedge plant in parks and gardens in North America.
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Medicinal Properties

Astringent, bitter
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Biochemical Information

Oleanolic, palmitic, linoleic and ursolic acids, mannitol and glucose, starch, bitter resin, bitter extractive, albumen, salts, and a peculiar substance called ligustrin
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Legends, Myths and Stories

The genus Ligustrum, of the olive family (Oleaceae) comprises approximately 50 species.
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A decoction of leaves or bark is helpful for diarrhea, chronic bowel problems, and as a vaginal douche, mouthwash or gargle, a wash for skin problems, and its bitter properties make the tea useful for improving appetite and digestion.
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Formulas or Dosages

Decoction: boil 1 tsp. leaves or bark in 1 cup water. Take 1 to 2 cups a day.
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The berries are poisonous; children have died from eating them.
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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 Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

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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