The fresh or dried herb can be added to sour plant milks. A few sprays are added to each litre of liquid and left until the liquid has soured thickly. The sprays are then removed. It gives a tangy taste to the milk, acts as a preservative and prevents the rancid taste that can accompany soured milk
A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers
A decoction makes a curative lotion for 'milk-crust' on the scalps of babies
Fumitory has been highly valued since at least Roman times for its tonic and blood cleansing effect upon the body
. It is particularly valuable in the treatment of all visceral obstructions, particularly those of the liver, in scorbutic affections and in troublesome eruptive diseases of the skin, especially eczema (for which it can be taken internally and externally)
The herb is antispasmodic, aperient, cholagogue, slightly diaphoretic, mildly diuretic, laxative and weakly tonic
. The plant is harvested as flowering begins in the summer and can be used fresh or can be dried for later use
. Some caution should be exercised in the use of this herb since excess doses cause hypnotic and sedative effects, especially if it is taken for more than about 8 days
Seed - sow spring in situ. There is normally very little need to sow this seed, the plant normally self-sows freely and should manage quite nicely by itself.
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Fumaria officinalis. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
Prefers a light well-drained soil in a sunny position
This plant can be a common weed in some gardens, self-sowing freely, though it is fairly easy to control by hand weeding[K]. The flowers are seldom visited by insects, but they are self-fertile and usually set every seed
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
There are no interactions listed for Fumaria officinalis. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.
Polycultures & Guilds
There are no polycultures listed which include Fumaria officinalis.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
Material uses & Functions
Native Climate Zones
Adapted Climate Zones
Native Geographical Range
Root Zone Tendancy
? 1.01.1 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
? 2.02.12.22.18.104.22.168 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
? 3.03.13.23.3 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
? 4.04.14.2 Phillips. R. & Foy. N. Herbs Pan Books Ltd. London. ISBN 0-330-30725-8 (1990-00-00)
? 5.05.15.25.35.4 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
? 6.06.16.26.36.4 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
? 7.07.1 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
? 8.08.1 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
? 9.09.1 Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)
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