Soapwort root is a perennial plant, 30-70 cm tall. It has a creeping, branched, slightly knotted rhizome, up to 1 cm in diameter. The roots are thin (<6mm), cylindrical, slightly curved, like the rhizome, brown-red on the outside, yellow-white on the inside.

Stems several, erect, knotted, simple or branched at the top, finely hairy. Leaves simple, oppositely arranged, lanceolate or elliptic, with an entire margin, pointed, on a very short petiole, upper sessile. The flowers are aromatic, on short peduncles (3-10mm), arranged in compound cymes. Flowers pale pink, rarely white. Only butterflies pollinate the plant.

The plant blooms in June-August. The seeds ripen in September.

Rhizomes and roots, as well as leaves, are used for medicinal purposes. Rhizomes and roots are harvested in late fall when the above-ground part of the plant dies, and can also be harvested in early spring before it has regrown. Dig up the rhizomes with their roots, rinse them in running cold water and cut them into 8-10cm long pieces. Dry in a shady place or in well-ventilated rooms, can also be dried in forced dryers not exceeding 50C. The smell of drugs is pleasant. Store it in cloth bags or wooden boxes. Valid for 2-3 years. For medicinal purposes, the leaves are also collected, during the flowering period of the plant - they are traditionally dried.

All parts of Soapwort root contain triterpene saponins. Especially abundant saponins are found in the rhizome and roots of the plant, 20-25% are found in them, from which saponaroside, hypsogenin, saporubrin and saporubric acid are released. In addition, the roots also contain carbohydrates (gentiobiose, saponarose, oligosaccharide), tannins, essential substances, mucilages, resins, pectins, mineral elements (calcium, copper, manganese, zinc, etc.) The leaves also contain the flavone glycoside saponarin, vitexin, saponaretin, as well as alkaloids and ascorbic acid (<1%).

Medicinal significance

The medicinal value of the plant is determined due to the saponins present in the plant. Soapwort root has strong expectorant and antitussive properties, it helps to dissolve sputum in the bronchi, it will also help in case of pneumonia, whooping cough, excruciating cough. The plant is also a valuable antibacterial, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, wound-healing, antimicrobial and anti-rheumatic agent. Preparations made on the basis of this plant increase the secretion of sweat and urine, as well as reduce burning and nausea.

In folk medicine, Soapwort root is used much more widely. It is mainly used as an expectorant, choleretic, diuretic and anti-rheumatism agent, and the plant is also useful in skin diseases.

Aqueous extracts of the plant are used as an expectorant and antitussive to treat the respiratory tract (bronchitis, pneumonia, whooping cough, whooping cough), as a choleretic (in case of jaundice), as a diuretic (in case of edema), as a diarrhoea, and as a diarrhoea. (in case of constipation).

Soapwort rhizomes and roots are used to treat rheumatism, gout, joint pain, chronic hepatitis, cholecystitis, stomach and intestinal diseases (especially flatulence), nausea, spleen diseases and heartburn.

In baths, applications, compresses and ointments, the plant is used to treat scabies, eczema, festering wounds, furunculosis, skin rashes and dermatitis. This plant is especially effective in psoriasis.

A "porridge" is made from the crushed root of the plant and used in applications to treat festering wounds, rosacea and eczema.

In case of toothache, the fresh root is chewed. A decoction of the rhizome is gargled to treat angina. It is also used as a diuretic in case of sciatica.

In folk medicine, rhizome and root decoctions are used in cases of weakness, kidney, liver, spleen diseases, especially metabolic problems.

Scalded leaves of the plant are used as poultices to treat festering wounds and ulcers. In folk medicine, Soapwort root is also widely used to fight prostate adenoma. In mixtures with other plants, this plant is used for the treatment of prostatitis, frequent pollution and cervical cystitis.

Soapwort root decoctions are used externally to heal ulcers caused by the herpes virus. Hair is rinsed with its decoctions (twice a week) to treat oily seborrhea. You can also prepare a concentrated decoction and rub it into the scalp with a cotton swab, a couple of hours before washing your hair, to strengthen the hair roots, as well as to prevent baldness. 

For men

In folk Soapwort root is used to treat prostate adenoma. In mixtures with other plants, prostatitis and frequent pollution.

Not recommended for use

This plant is not recommended for long-term use, as well as in large doses, because it can cause side effects (nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, cramps, dry mouth, etc.).