Gardening

Saponaria officinalis, ornamental and medicinal plant

Saponaria officinalis  also known as Soap Plant or Soap Dish . It belongs to the Cariofiláceas family, of the Saponaria genus, comprising 30 species of perennial, annual and biennial plants. Being native to central and southern Europe, although today it can be found wild in Asia and North America.

Characteristics of the Saponaria officinalis

Plant that does not exceed 20 cm high. With highly branched stems and a creeping bearing.

The leaves are lanceolate, glabrous, measuring 3 to 5 cm in length.

The flowers are seeds, bright pink, pale pink, red or white. It blooms in the summer.

The fruit is a capsule that contains numerous seeds.

Saponaria officinalis care

It is a specimen  that is used in rockeries, borders, low massifs or for terraces and balconies.

It requires full sun exposure at high temperatures.

Being a rustic plant it can thrive in any soil, but it is better if it is sandy and even by the sea.

The plantation should be in a definitive place in the winter after passing the frosts (if any).

Irrigation should be lightly all seasons of the year.

The compost is based on a mineral fertilizer a couple of weeks before flowering.

It is a species that can be susceptible to attack by aphids.

It multiplies by means of seeds sown in the spring in the final location, or by division of the bush at the time of planting.

Applications

Medicinal species. The leaves are rich in vitamin C, which is essential to strengthen the immune system.

So when making a decoction it is used to relieve dermatitis and boils. In cosmetics it is used to care for the skin when there is the presence of acne and itching.

The rhizome of Saponaria officinalis  is extracted from a natural soap that can be used for cleansing the face and hair.

Preparation mode

In a pot, pour 50 g of Saponaria officinalis rhizome, a tablespoon of sage leaves, a tablespoon of male abrótano, a tablespoon of rosemary leaves and a liter of water.

Bring to the fire and boil for a few minutes. Turn off, let it rest, strain and pack.

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