Medicinal plants

Columbine – No medicinal plant for domestic use

Scientific name: Aquilegia

The sprouted flowers of columbine (Aquilegia), as well as their graceful growth make them a very popular ornamental plant in the garden.

There it gives its locations a magical ambience and lets one think of mystical elf groves. An elf-same healing effect would be logical, you mean? – Rather not.

Columbine – Beautiful and holy, but poisonous

The columbine belongs to the family of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae) and thrives mainly in temperate locations of the northern hemisphere.

Their unique appearance made them a popular motif in the art as early as the Middle Ages, because their geometric shapes represented an extraordinary challenge.

Especially the filigree spider flowers of Aquilegia were in popular belief cause for all sorts of myths. In addition to elven fairy tales, the columbine was mainly associated with fertility and mother goddesses .

Following the goddess Aphrodite, the roots of the elegant flower were similar to the Ashwangandhaas an aphrodisiac and ritual herbs for love magic use.

Furthermore, Aquilegia symbolized the melancholy of the Mother of God, because her nodding flower head made one think of the sorrow of Saint Mary, but also of her piety.

From this symbolic character derive nicknames of columbine, such as “Pfaffenkäpple” from, for humility and piety are known to be the cardinal virtues of every clergyman.

In medieval medicine, the columbine is also often mentioned. More specifically, it is the Common Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris), which was used here for medicinal purposes. It is often described in this context as a cleansing plant, among others

  • inflammation,
  • Irritability,
  • Gout,
  • Skin rashes,
  • inner restlessness,
  • Lice infestation,
  • Menstrual cramps,
  • Spleen and liver diseases,
  • Rheumatism,
  • poisoning,
  • Constipation,
  • wounds
  • or for welding promotion

Application found.

However, this should not hide the poison content of the columbine, because the plant contains high amounts of toxic hydrocyanic acid .

It was therefore used only well heated and heavily diluted as herbal water.

Ingredients of the columbine – salutary poison effect?

Many of the supposedly healing ingredients of the commons, as well as any other columbine, are actually toxins.

A weak dosage in this case, however, provides for a weakened toxic effect , which now and then has desirable effects on the body. Here is a small overview:

Neutralization of plant toxins is crucial

The main poisons of the columbine include hydrocyanic acid and magnoflorin. Their toxicity in the raw state can be fatal, but can be harmed by a special pretreatment of the plant but harmless.

For this purpose, the plant parts must first be dried and then placed in hot water or hot alcohol, which can disassemble the water-soluble toxins. What’s left is a mildly toxic plant serum that

  • blood-purifying,
  • vascular contracting,
  • urinary and sweaty

Owns properties.

These effects are particularly helpful in the treatment of diseases that cause

  • fever
  • Slag storage or
  • Accumulation of wound substances

to lead.

In such cases, Akelei was formerly used as a means of accelerating the removal of substance . Meanwhile, however, there are much more efficient drugs for such health problems.

And among the medicinal herbs there are enough plants that stimulate the flow of secretion better, for example stinging nettle, lemon balm or thyme.

Columbine also has non-toxic ingredients

A definitely harmless ingredient of the poisonous plant is the linoleic acid contained in it . The omega-6 fatty acid is known to be just balm for the skin, because it works

  • anti-inflammatory,
  • skin cleansing,
  • soothing
  • and cell-protecting.

Linoleic acid is therefore the main reason why Columbine was often used for ablutions on skin irritations or eczema .

However, the proportion of linoleic acid in the columbine is not too high. Again, here other medicinal herbs (eg, castor or thistle) cut off better.

Application of columbine – only as tea!

Columbine is nowadays only used in homeopathy and may not be taken here without express dosage instructions from the treating alternative practitioner.

Common is the use of columbine tea, which is suitable for both ablutions

  • with skin problems and lice infestation

as well as for internal use

  • in systemic diseases

make use of.

Important: It used to be common to munch seeds and roots of columbine and process them into a tincture.

Since, however, especially the seeds contain very high amounts of toxic hydrocyanic acid, we advise against such forms of application.

Buy Columbine – by prescription only

The purchase of columbine in the free trade is not possible because the herb is strictly prescriptiveand actually hardly used medically. Therefore, we can not make any recommendations at this point.


Aquilegia has been admired in art, garden botany and medicine for centuries. Both her leaf arrangement, as well as her enchanting spur flowers inspire and fascinate.

However, the healing effect of the columbine is doubtful and by far not as significant as the poisonous effect of the beautiful ornamental plant.

For the private pharmacy this plant is therefore not recommended. Their healing effects themselves are now regarded as controversial.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *