The figwort is 3 to l0 feet high with 4-angled stems widely branched above and slender-stemmed, somewhat egg-shaped or lance-shaped sharply toothed leaves 3 to 9 inches long. The numerous small, greenish-purple flowers are produced from July to September in rather open panicles. A tall, snapdragon-like plant, figwort goes by the botanical names Scrophularia nodosa and S. ningpoensis. Usually, herbalists use the dried leaves and flowers, although the Chinese also use the root.
Common doses of figwort
Figwort comes as a tincture, compress, soak, and wash. Some experts recommend the following doses, although they disagree on how often to take the herb:
- As an infusion, 2 to 8 grams of dried herb taken orally.
- As liquid extract, 2 to 8 milliliters taken orally.
- As tincture, 2 to 4 milliliters taken orally.
Uses of figwort
Figwort finds most use in the treatment of skin problems. It acts in a broad way to help the body function well, bringing about a state of inner cleanliness. Specifically, figwort may help to :-
- Chronic skin conditions
- Digestive disorders
- Eczema (a type of skin inflammation)
- Psoriasis (scaly, raised skin patches)
- To stimulate the heart
Side effects of figwort
Call your health care practitioner if you experience any of these possible side effects of figwort:
Figwort also can cause a type of irregular heartbeat called heart block.
Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Don’t use figwort while taking:
- digitalis drugs used to treat heart failure or certain irregular heartbeats
- heart drugs called beta blockers (such as Inderal)
- heart drugs called calcium channel blockers (such as Calan and Procardia).
Important points to remember
- Don’t use figwort if you have heart disease.
- Avoid this herb if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding.
- Call your health care practitioner if you experience light-headedness, weakness, shortness of breath, or pulse rate changes.
What the research shows
Researchers haven’t studied figwort to identify possible benefits and safety risks. However, medical experts warn people-especially those with heart disease-not to use it.
Other names for figwort : –
Other names for figwort include carpenter’s-square, common figwort, rose-noble, scrofula plant, square stalk, stinking christopher, and throatwort.