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Those people supporting the theory of signs, who intended to discover and explain the plant’s properties according to these signs’ appearance, presumed that gromwell health benefits included the plant’s seeds’ ability to dissolve kidney stones. Dioscorides was one of the people who believed this.

Gromwell Health Benefits: Preparation and Dosage

  1. Internal: infusion with 50-100 g of seeds and leaves per liter of water. Drink three or four daily cups. In former times, seeds were ingested after having been group up.

Stoneseed (Lithospermum ruderale (Lehm.) Dougl.) is a Lithospermum species that grows in America. This American Lithospermum is used as a contraceptive by some native people. Gromwell is currently being researched in this direction, too, as it is likely to impede the hypophysis’s (pituitary gland) gonadotropic hormones.

  • SCIENTIFIC SYNONYMS: Lithospermum erythorryzon Sieb.-Zucc., Lithospermum officinale Forbes-Hemsi.
  • SYNONYMS: Common gromwell
  • FRENCH: Herbe aux peries
  • SPANISH: Mijo de sol
  • HABITAT: Common in calcareous soils all over Europe but seldom found in America
  • DESCRIPTION: Vivacious plant of the Boraginaceae family, growing from 40 to 80 cm high, with hairy leaves, whose nerves are marked on their undersides. The seeds are round, hard, and pearly.
  • PARTS USED: The seeds and the leaves

Gromwell Health Benefits: Medicinal Properties and Indications

The whole plant is rich in silicon and calcium, as well as mucilage and coloring substances. From ancient times onwards, people used it to dissolve kidney stones. This uricosuric diuretic property (it promotes the elimination of uric acid) dissolves sand in the urine. It can even dissolve a whole urine calculus, especially if uric acid salts form the latter. Herbalists recommend this plant for people suffering from renal colic and gout.

Gromwell extract possesses digestive benefits as well. Due to its sour flavor, it invigorates all digestive organs, increasing appetite and promoting digestion.


George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 2 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 579. Print. [gromwell health benefits]

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