Soapwort Herb (Saponara officinalis) is a perennial European native herb which has become thoroughly naturalised in the United States of America.
It is found growing in moist ditches, along roadsides, waste places, near old home sites, in meadows, and as a planted ornamental plant which has many attractive and quite aromatic flowers.
It forms colonies from underground rhizomes. The Soapwort herb is harvested in the spring and can be dried for later herb use. The flowers and leaves are used fresh or dried as body soap.
It is also known as Soaproot, Bouncing Bet, Latherwort, Fuller’s Herb, Bruisewort, Crow Soap, Sweet Betty
Traditional Uses for Soapwort Herb:-
Soapwort, has been used as an alternative medicine since ancient times. It is an alterative, antiscrophulatic, cholagogue, depurative, diaphoretic, mildly diuretic, expectorant, purgative and tonic.
A decoction or tea made from the herb is applied externally to treat itchy skin. One of the saponins in this plant is currently undergoing investigation and is of interest in the treatment of cancer.
A soap can be obtained by simmering the whole plant in water. It is a gentle effective cleanser, used on delicate fabrics that can be harmed by synthetic soaps. The best soap is obtained by infusing the plant in warm water.
Soapwort is sometimes recommended as a hair shampoo, though it can cause eye irritations.