Fumitory - Best Herb for Skin Problems


Fumaria officinalis Fumariaceae Also called Common fumitory.

CoIonisin, fields, banks, hedgerows and old Valls,fumitory is Jound all over Britain. Clusters oj deep pink or purple flowers bloom throughout summer. The delicate blue-green flowers has a whitish bloom, and its appearance, resembling smoke rising from the ground, is thought to be the source is the name:fumitory mealls 'smoke of the earth '.

Parts used

Whole plant above ground . Plants are gathered in spring and summer, and dried.. Fumitory is used as an infusion, a powder, a dry extract or a tincture.


For internal use

TO TREAT digestive problems, gall-bladder problems, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, asthma, eczema, acne.

INFUSION Put 2 teaspoons of dried flowers into 150ml of boiling water. Infuse for 10 minutes and strain. Drink 1 cup half-an-hour before meals, and between meals as required.

TlNaURE Put 30-50 drops into a glass of water and drink half-an-hour before meals. CAPSULES (400mg powder) Take 3-6 capsules a day with a large glass of water.

CAPSULES (250mg dry extract) Take 3-4 capsules a day with a large glass of water.

For external use

TO TREAT psoriasis, eczema, the itching caused by scabies COMPRESS Soak a cloth in an infusion of the dried flowers (see above) and apply it to the affected areas two or three times a day.



Fumitory contains some 30 alkaloids - substances which often have strong pharmaceutical actions, One alkaloid, protopine, seems to be fumitory's major active constituent. The plant also contains flavonoids (which are anti-inflammatory and good for the circulation), organic acids including fumaric acid, and mucilage.

Medicinal uses

Traditionally, fumitory has been used to treat skin problems such as acne and eczema. Its effectiveness may be due to its diuretic and purgative actions, which have a general cleansing effect on the whole body.

Fumitory is antispasmodic and reduces blood pressure. The plant's sedative properties are useful for treating a range of illnesses including irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), high blood pressure and asthma.

A German article published in 1995 reviewed fumitory's beneficial actions on bile and urine flow - thus making it useful for gall-bladder and liver problems. It has also been used to remedy digestive disorders such as dyspepsia, flatulence and nausea.In 1980 Russian research showed that fumitory alkaloids could help to restore healthy blood circulation after a cardiac arrest. And in 1986, German scientists noted that one of these alkaloids - protopine - has a beneficial effect on the functioning of the nervous system.

Fumitory is anti-inflammatory or more specifically, protopine is anti-inflammatory, as observed in Pharmacology Research in 1997. Applied externally, it soothes psoriasis, eczema, scabies and other skin flare-ups. It may also be used as an eyewash to ease conjunctivitis.


  • To date, no adverse side effects or toxicity have been reported.
  • Overdose can because stomach upsets.
  • Do not use when taking drugs prescribed to lower blood pressure or treat heart problems.
  • Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Do not use if you suffer from glaucoma or are prone to seizures.


Fumitory prefers sunny spots and is suited to light, well-drained soil.


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