Burnet Saxifrage

(Pimpinella saxifraga) It is called Saxifraga "for the propertye that it hath in breaking of the stone in a man's bodye" (Turner. 1551). Gerard elaborated on this, and went on : "the juice of the leaves ... doth cleanse and take away all spots and freckles of the face, and leaveth a good colour ...". In Italy, they used to say that if a woman eats burnet saxifrage, her beauty will increase (Skinner). The distilled water, too, was used as a cosmetic (Leyel. 1937). In plant symbolism, this stood for affection (Leyel. 1937).

The root infusion is taken for catarrh, and sometimes as a diuretic. Externally, this infusion can be used as an application for healing a wound (Fluck). Another application from the roots, a tincture this time, is given for sore throats (Schauenberg & Paris), and the fresh root is chewed for toothache (Grieve. 1931).

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