LATIN NAME: Sanicula europaea

FAMILY: Apiaceae

GENUS: Sanicula

COMMON NAMES: sanicle, wood sanicle

DISTRIBUTION AREA: the territory of Western and Central Europe

HABITAT: mixed, coniferous, broad-leaved forests

BOTANICAL INFORMATION: A perennial herbaceous plant with a height of 40-120 cm. Lamina is 4-10 cm long, heart-shaped, round, deep-digitate, a three- or quinquepartite. The inflorescence is three- or four-leafed, with greenish flowers collected at the ends in spherical umbels. Sanicle blooms in June - July.

CHEMICAL COMPOSITION: All parts of the Sanicula europaea contain saponins. Moreover, there are tannins and bitter substances, essential oil, organic acids, vitamin C, etc.


The therapeutic effect of the Sanicula europaea is due to its chemical composition. For example, the pronounced expectorant action of the sanicle is the result of saponins, which contribute to the liquefaction of sputum, activate the function of the ciliary epithelium of the respiratory tract, peristalsis of the bronchi. In addition, the plant has such medicinal properties as:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • hemostatic
  • analgesic
  • diuretic
  • strengthening the nervous system


In folk medicine, the Sanicula europaea is used as an expectorant, hemostatic, anti-inflammatory, enveloping, analgesic, diuretic and nerve-strengthening agent. The Sanicula europaea is valued in folk medicine, especially when coughing, and also with gastrointestinal disorders, painful menstruation, kidney bleeding and dysentery.

Sanicula europaea is used for gargling when having inflammation of the mouth and throat, gums, as well as for lotions and compresses for skin rashes. The plant is effective for abscesses, bruises and sprains. Infusion of herb or decoction of the roots is used for washing wounds. Powder from the leaves of the sanicle is a good remedy for furuncles. In folk medicine Sanicula europaea is used to wash the pimply skin and remove acne, as well as cleanse the dilated and contaminated pores.


Taking huge doses of sanicle, it can be the reason of some undesirable effects including

  • stomach upset
  • nausea
  • vomiting

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough sufficient information about using sanicle during these periods. Don’t risk and avoid using.

Stomach or intestinal disorders (such as ulcers, ulcerative colitis, and other digestive tract problems): Sanicle can worsen the progress of a disease. Avoid using sanicle when having stomach or intestinal problems.


Infusion: Pour 300 ml of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of sanicle flowers and infuse for 1 hour, then strain. Take 100 ml 3-4 times a day.

Decoction: Add 1 tablespoon of dried, crushed sanicle leaves to 400 ml of water and simmer for 4 minutes. Infuse for 2 hours and then strain. Take 50 ml 3 times a day.

Sanicle tincture for strengthening the activity of the sexual glands: Pour 450 ml of 70% alcohol over 150 gr of chopped rhizome. Infuse for 14 days in a dark, cool place. When ready, strain and take 30 drops 3 times a day.

“Allow nature’s peace to flow into you as sunshine flows into trees”

John Muir

*This article is for informational purposes only. We suggest consulting with a physician before using these or any other herbal supplements.