Sanguisorba officinalis, commonly known as the great burnet – both a medicinal and salad herb

Sanguisorba officinalis

At first glance, you are fascinated by its reddish funny looking cones, which resemble chimney brushes. That is why “Sanguisorba officinalis” is known in some parts of the world as the “chimney sweeper.”

It usually blooms from June to August, but you may see it blooming little earlier. It looks quite ordinary and you may easily recognize it thanks to its small, dark red, or purple egg-shaped heads . They are red like blood, but the dark red colour played no role in the naming process, but blood actually did.

Great burnet can stop bleeding

In fact, the Latin name Sanguisorba says that this plant can stop bleeding. All you have to do is get the stem and apply it to the wound. However, the most used part is the rhizome of this plant, which contains a lot of tannins , such as saponin sanguisorbin and others. It is the rhizome that is collected raw and used to produce various medicines.

Sanguisorba officinalisPhoto: Pixabay

Our advice: Great burnet most often blooms in grasslands, but sometimes you may find it in less-used parts of your garden or by the fence .

Tea used to promote sweating

Use dried rhizome and pour hot water over it. Wait 15 minutes and drink it. It is also used against intestinal catarrh or to promote sweating – 3 times a day, but never use it for more than a week. If you have powder you can also sniff it to stop nosebleeds. Fresh leaves were used by old herbalist to treat bleeding wounds and poorly healing ulcers.

A salad from great burnet? Why not

Young stem of great burnet is great for a salad. Just cut it into small pieces and enjoy. Another interesting option is to use it in dry bouquets where it looks really nice. To do so, dry it first with the head down, and then arrange it in any shape. It will last all winter. So, the next time you see great burnet, remember how many uses it has, and you may start appreciating it much more.

Photo: Pixabay

Radek Štěpán

Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.


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