Introduction of Soapwort:bruisewort or soap root.
✵The article gives records of the herb Soapwort, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Saponaria officinalis L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Soapwort, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.
- Soapwort(Soap root).
English Name: Soapwort.
Latin Name: Saponaria officinalis L.
Common Names: Bouncing bet, bruisewort, Crow Soap, dog cloves, fuller's herb, lady's-washbowl, Lady by the garden gate, latherwort, old-maid's-pink, Soap-wood, Soap root, Sweet Betty, Wild Sweet William, saponaria.
Property and flavor: The plant has a weak fragrance. The leaves and roots contain bitter-tasting saponin and produce suds when rubbed underwater.
Brief introduction: The solitary stem of this tall perennial gives rise to lance-shaped leaves and fragrant clusters of white to light lavender flowers. But it is primarily the plant's round, reddish-brown roots that are used medicinally and commercially. Although native to Europe and regions of Asia, soapwort can now be found growing wild, often in pastures and roadsides, across USA (the United States of America).
Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Soapwort as the root of the species (1).Saponaria officinalis L. It is a plant species of the Saponaria L. genus, the Caryophyllaceae family (carnation family, pink family). The root is used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:
(1).Saponaria officinalis L.
Botanical description: Saponaria officinalis is a perennial plant of the Saponaria genus and the Caryophyllaceae family, the plant is leafy and grows about 100 cm tall. The stems are round, upright, and covered with fine down. The leaves are crossed opposite, oblong to lanceolate, acute, entire-margined, triple-veined, and taper to a short petiole, there are two leaves per node along the stem.
The flowers generally are flesh-colored, sometimes white, or pink to red, grow in racemes, and have a 5-tipped fused calyx. The petals have long stems, there are five to seven petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower, the petals or sepals are fused into a cup or tube. The ovary is superior and has 1 style. The fruit is a capsularfruit with 4 teeth at the tip and bursts open when ripe, the fruit is 10~20 mm long. The seeds are reniform-globular and black-brown.
Ecological environment: The plant is native to the temperate regions of the Mediterranean coastal area of Europe, North America, and Asia. It grows in fields, roadsides, lawns, railroads, and waste areas and spread in coastal, mountain, and piedmont areas.
Growth characteristics: The plant needs 6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day, good drainage.
Characters of herbs: Soapwort herb is dried, above ground parts of Saponaria officinalis. The herb is harvested in the summer before flowering in the first and second years of the plant's growth. Soapwort root is the dried root, rhizomes, and runners of Saponaria officinalis. The roots are plowed up in autumn after the herb has been mown. The root is cleaned and then dried artificially at 50 °C (Celsius, or 122 degrees Fahrenheit).
Pharmacological actions: ①.source of saponins and expectorant; ②.relieve upper respiratory tract; ③.anti-inflammatory properties; ④.relieve pain; ⑤.antibiotic; ⑥.cholesterol-lowering; ⑦.spermicidal, etc.
Soapwort plant parts contain the saponins capable of foaming up into an impressive soapy lather.
Soapwort is used for treating upper respiratory tract congestion, such as that which occurs with the common cold.
Soapwort saponin extracts have anti-inflammatory properties and painkilling properties.
Medicinal efficacy: Soapwort was introduced into North America by European settlers, it is used in natural soaps and shampoos. The root tea was used internally for constipation, upper respiratory tract congestion, rheumatic complaints, and fluid retention as a diuretic, and externally for acne, boils, psoriasis, and eczema. In Europe, soapwort root is approved for cough and bronchitis, the herb is used for inflammation of the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract. In folk medicine, soapwort root is used occasionally for the disease of the liver, gallbladder and kidney, constipation, gout, and as an emmenagogue, and externally for skin disorders, lingual mycoses, and rheumatic complaints. Soapwort herb is used as an expectorant for cough and other respiratory tract diseases, constipation, gastrointestinal disorders, liver and kidney disorders, rheumatic gout, neurasthenia, and oxyuriasis or pinworms, externally for skin rashes, eczema, and as a gargle for tonsillitis.
Administration of Soapwort (Soap root):
Reference: Administration Guide of Soapwort (Soap root) Herbal classic books: Dosage: An infusion is prepared by pouring boiling water over 0.4 grams of the moderately finely chopped root, allowing it to steep, and straining the liquid. A daily dosage of 1.5 grams of the herb is standard. Soapwort herb aqueous extract is taken 1~2 grams daily, and for constipation taken 2 glasses daily of a decoction. Soapwort root tea is prepared with 0.4 grams of the medium fine cut root, the average daily dose for soapwort root is 30~150 mg of the herb decoction corresponding to 3~15 mg of gypsophilia saponin. As an expectorant, 1 dessertspoonful of decoction is taken every 2 hours. The herb should be stored in a container that protects it from light and moisture. The root should be stored tightly sealed and protected from light.
Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: A majority of people tolerate soapwort preparations well, with notable stomach upset possible but rare. Individuals with ulcers or other gastrointestinal problems may avoid using soapwort medicinally, however. Localized skin and mucus membrane irritations are possible with the administration of larger dosages.
The fresh whole plant is poisonous, and the roots and seeds are more toxic. Individuals who mistakenly ingest the root water infusion will experience symptoms such as mydriasis and coma within a few hours. Gastrointestinal tract irritating effects such as vomiting, colic pain, and diarrhea are mainly observed after large-scale feeding of livestock.
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