Sanguisorba officinalis

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bositzel Burnet officinal, Sanguisorba officinalis (lat.)

Medicinal purpose

For medicinal purposes mainly the roots are used, and sometimes also the over ground part of it. It is gathered and stored in autumn when the leaves and the flowers begin to fade. The root is taken out with the help of a spade, leaving some 30-50% for the next year’s plant. The root is taken out, washed with cold water, cut to 10-15 sm pieces, dried in the sun, or in a windy room, or in 40-50 degrees Celsius. The well dried root should be elastic. The material is kept in a bag mixing periodically. It has brown-black color, yellow in the inside, scentless, with an astringent taste. It is best before 5 years.

In Armenian folk medicinal practice, burnet was used against diarrhea, intestine bleedings, menstrual problems, nyctalopia (night-blindness), and high blood pressure. In Czech folk medicinal practice, it is used as diuretic means. In Bulgaria burnet was used against dysentery, and to stop bleedings. In Armenian, Polish and French folk medicinal practice, burnet’s extract was used against headache, angina, menstrual problems, different types of diarrhea, as well as to cure wounds. The use of the squash of the roots was accepted by scientific medicine and was included in state pharmacopoeia in 1961. The resolvent affect of the plant for external use is considerable. The redness after mustard plaster is being removed 3 times more efficiently by burnet poultice than by regular water ones. This quality of the plant is successfully used against skin inflammations, bee and poisonous insects’ stings, etc.

Having strong phytoncide qualities, burnet squash has a destroying influence on intestine, typhus, paratyphoid, and dysentery viruses. Burnet is also used against all types of diarrhea (especially blood type), stomatitis, gingivitis, some types of internal bleedings, flu, angina, climax, etc.

E. I. Belyaev mentions the positive affects of the plant squash on menstrual problems, bleedings, haemorrhagic metropathia, and fibromyoma. N. G. Kovaleva also uses the over ground part of the plant together with the roots mentioning the qualities of it. Burnet extract also has favorable affect on pungent gastritis, pains around stomach, and vomits.


To make a decoction from the plant, 15-30 grams of dry material should be boiled in 200 ml water. This should be taken 1 table-spoon, 5-6 times a day. Or half table-spoon ground root should be soaked in 1-2 cups of water for 8 hours, then raised to boiling temperature and filtered. The squash should be taken 1 table-spoon; 2-3 tames a day, before eating. Or one table-spoon of material is mixed with 1 cup of hot water and boiled for 30 minutes, cooled, filtered and taken one table-spoon, 5-6 times a day. When making decoction, together with the roots the leaves can also be used. The liquid squash can be purchased from pharmacies, which is used 30-50 drops with water, 3-4 times a day. The root powder is usually in pills named “sorbex”. The pills should be taken 3-6 times a day, one at a time.

Other use

Burnet is melliferous, at the same time can be used as decorative plant. It is also used as food for the cattle. Small braches and leaves are used in foods. Also used in leather processing. Flower decoction dyes the clothes into brown and red colors.


These are folk remedies and are no guarantee is made as to either their effectiveness, or their safety.