Grass of-Parnassus
Parnassia palustris L.


Grass of parnassus is a perennial plant that grows up to 55 cm in height. The rhizome is short with an extensive taproot system. The leaves are oval or ovate, juicy green above and duller below, forming a rosette of root leaves.

Large, white flowers form on individual flower stalks. Petals oval, covered with transparent, pinkish or green veins. The flowers are fragrant during the day and completely deodorized at night. Fruit - multi-seeded box.

The whole plant is used for medicinal purposes. The above-ground part of the plant is harvested during flowering (July-August). Dry the plant in a well-ventilated and shady place, spreading it in a thin layer or haying it in bundles.

The roots are dug after the flowering of the plant, starting from September until December, cleaned from the soil, wrapped in the sun and dried in forced dryers at a temperature of 40-50C. The seeds are collected when they are ripe and dried in the same way as the roots.

4.5% tannins, 4.2% flavonoids, 3.4% resins, up to 0.75% ascorbic acid, 0.12% coumarins, up to 0.03% alkaloids, as well as saponins and bitter substances can be found in the remote surface part of the bog. Alkaloids were found in the roots, carbohydrates and leucoanthocyanides in the leaves. 

Medicinal significance

The remote healing properties of the Grass of parnassus have been little studied. When studying alcohol extracts and aqueous solutions of this plant, they showed effective vasoconstrictor and laxative properties, as well as a strophanthin-like effect on the heart, increasing its temporal volume and increasing the amplitude of contraction, while reducing its rhythm.

The alcohol extract has a bactericidal effect on the golden staphylococcus, the water solution increases intestinal tone and motility.

This plant has the potential to produce cardiac, bactericidal, choleretic and laxative agents.

In folk medicine, the Grass of parnassus is widely used. Crushed, fresh plant is applied externally, putting it on fresh and festering wounds. Planting the surface part of the plant or the roots provides a remedy for conjunctivitis and blepharitis. A decoction of the plant is used for cardiac neurosis, tachycardia, epilepsy, fever, hysteria, headache and insomnia. It treats weakened heart muscle by reducing excessive heart contractions.

Scientists recommend the remote use of Grass of parnassus for the treatment of lung inflammation, tuberculosis, upper respiratory tract diseases, digestive tract diseases, colitis, inflammation of the small intestine, and various colds. It is an effective remedy against cystitis, nephritis, urethritis, kidney stones and gallstones, gonorrhea, inflammation of the liver and gall bladder, as well as against internal bleeding of various origins.

Grass of parnassus extract is used for rheumatic pain and lumbar pain, also to facilitate childbirth, prolapse of the uterus and colitis of the digestive tract. There is a suggestion that bog remedies may be effective in digestive tract cancer.

Not recommended for use

Grass of parnassus is a poisonous plant, so its use is dangerous and requires precise application doses. Poisoning causes nausea, increased salivation, shortness of breath and diarrhea.

This plant should not be used during pregnancy, as well as if you suffer from hypertension, bradycardia and increased blood clotting. This plant is not recommended for children and nursing mothers.