field Scabious
Knautia arvensis


Field Scabious is a perennial plant, 30-100 cm tall. Stiff, sparsely branched stem, covered with short, hard hairs. Rhizome leaves whole, lanceolate, stem-split, sessile, arranged alternately; the lower ones - on the petioles. Small, bisexual flowers are arranged in large, dense, compressed, round inflorescences of blue-violet, red-violet or violet color. Flowers along the edges are bigger than in the middle. The plant blooms all summer until late autumn, the fruits ripen in August. Rhizome branched. The plant reproduces vegetatively and with the help of seeds. During one summer, the plant can produce 3000 seeds.

Field Scabious is collected in dry weather, throughout the flowering period of the plant and dried in a well-ventilated and shady place. The dried and crushed plant is stored in dense cloth bags or glass jars.

The roots are dug in the spring, when they contain the most valuable substances. They are carefully cleaned from the soil by rinsing and dried in forced dryers. Dried roots are stored in wooden boxes or glass jars.

It is worth knowing that this plant has a strong tendency to absorb harmful substances, so it should be collected in clean places.

The plant contains polysaccharides, phenol (flavonoids, phenolic acids, coumarins, tannins) and triterpene compounds, organic acids, carotenoids, amino acids, macro and microelements; nitrogenous base compounds have also been found.

The presence of flavonoids (rutin, quercetin, luteolin-7-glycoside, kaempferol), coumarins (coumarin, umbelliferone), phenolic carbonates (gallic acid, o-coumaric acid, caffeic acid, chicory acid, ferulic acid), tannin, and epicatechin has been determined by studying phenolic compounds. Among flavonoid compounds, luteolin-7-glucoside and quercetin prevail, among phenolic carbonates - gallic acid, among coumarin substances - umbelliferone.

Medicinal significance

Iridoids, which are found in the plant, produce anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral activity. Therefore, the tea of the above-ground part of this plant is used to treat congested skin, rashes, dermatomycosis and eczema, angina, bronchitis and inflammation of the bladder. Before the advent of antibiotics, tea from field wort was drunk against tuberculosis. The antispasmodic activity of iridoids allows the plant to be used as an antitussive and to relieve intestinal spasms.

Thanks to the antibacterial activity of flavonoids, compresses can be made from the plant, which are used to treat eczema, dermatitis, scabies and other diseases of microbial etiology. The powder of the dried herb has a lethal effect on insects. Saponins have an anti-inflammatory effect and are used by folk scientists to treat purulent wounds and long-lasting ulcers.

Tannins and bitter substances allow its setting to be used for the treatment of diarrhea and gallbladder dyskinesia. Water and alcohol extracts are effective anti-allergy remedies. They help to get rid of inflammation and remove itchy skin. St. John's wort tea helps to remove toxins from the body.

In folk medicine, Field Scabious is used to treat bronchitis, acute respiratory infections, angina, cough, inflammation of the bladder. For this purpose, alcohol extracts are also used, in the form of drops.  Field Scabious is drunk in case of diarrhea and a feeling of heaviness in the stomach.

Externally, this plant is used in applications, compresses, washing and baths to treat chronic skin diseases, eczema, dermatomycosis, scabies and to get rid of itching.

Decoctions and solutions are added to the bath in case of allergic dermatitis, psoriasis and other chronic skin diseases. A powder of the dried plant is used on pets to kill fleas on their fur.

Not recommended for use

Side effects have not been observed when using this plant. When treating dermatitis in the initial stages, exacerbations of the disease may occur, which disappear during further use. Field Scabious is a little-studied plant and is not used in official medicine. Also, this plant is not recommended to be used during pregnancy and lactation, as well as not to treat small children with it.