The Soapwort herb and its benefits have been known for a long time. It is generally thought to possess expectorant, laxative and purgative properties.
Soapwort is a perpetual herb that has a curious ability to produce soap-like lather upon contact with water. Because of this, soapwort is also known by the nickname ‘latherwort’. Soapwort has an abundance of saponins, natural cleansing agents that is widely utilized to rid the body of toxins.
The soapwort herb has a single straight stem that reaches up to a height of two feet. The plant typically grows in bunches and possesses oval shaped leaves that grow opposite to each other on the stem. The leaves of the soapwort plant are pointed but the borders are even and smooth.
The flowers of the soapwort bloom between the months of July and September. These typically have five petals and its colors range from whitish pink to rose-colored. They emerge in bunches at the pinnacle of the stems.
Soapwort is native to temperate areas in Europe, Asia and North America. It grows in open forested regions as well as the sides of the railway tracks. It is interesting to note that while the flowers of the plant are collected in summer, the roots of the soapwort plant are dug out in autumn.
The active constituencies of soapwort include saponins, resin, volatile oils, fiber and sugars. A decoction of soapwort roots can be prepared to derive its numerous health benefits. Simply soak about four tablespoons of the dried roots in a liter of cold water for about five hours. After this time has elapsed, boil the mix for about 10 minutes and let simmer for 5 minutes. The resultant soapwort tea (tisane) may be drunk three or four times each day.
The following are the health benefits attributed to soapwort tea:
- Said help alleviate stuffy nose and blocked throat due to infection.
- Claimed help alleviate bronchitis and coughs.
- Thought to help relieve asthma.
- Believed to be useful in the treatment of arthritis.
- When applied topically may help in the treatment of eczema, acne, psoriasis and other skin conditions.