Viperine: a medicinal plant full of virtues

Viperine: a medicinal plant full of virtues

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Behind this uninviting name, hides a biennial plant with beautiful bluish flowers. Viperine contains multiple therapeutic properties. Calming, diuretic, expectorant ...

Discover its benefits and how to grow it in your garden!

Bugloss: Echium vulgare

If this pretty plant bears this name, it's because its fruits evoke the tongues of vipers. Its large stems are completely covered with long lanceolate leaves. The foliage is thin and covered with a down giving it a gray tint. At the end of these stems, flower spikes stand 15-30cm high. The whole plant measures between 60cm and 90cm, enough to give volume to a bed! The common viperine tolerates down to -15 ° C, but the other species are much less hardy. The little extra of viperine: it attracts butterflies!

Therapeutic benefits of Echium vulgare

  • Expectorant: viperine clears the airways, it is used against coughs, bronchitis or a cold.
  • Diuretic: it makes it easier to remove water and salt, thus improving the functioning of the urinary tract.
  • Soothing: for the skin that it softens but also for the nervous system that it calms.
  • Febrifuge: viperine is appreciated for its anti-inflammatory properties, it lowers fever, as well as headaches.
  • Healing: it is used to treat wounds and boils.
  • Relieves rheumatism and arthritis

How to use viperine?

  • In infusion: viperine tea is recommended for its expectorant, febrifuge and diuretic properties. We then use the leaves to which may have added flowering tops to fight more specifically against cough.
  • As a poultice: avoid using the leaves, which are sometimes stinging. These are the roots that interest us for their emollient and healing properties. You just have to chop them finely before placing them between two cloths or directly on the wound.
  • In oil: it is part of many facials that restore suppleness to the skin.


Be careful, it should not be consumed in large quantities because viperine contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids which can damage the liver. It is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Cultivation of viperine


The viperine grows spontaneously along roadsides, in wasteland and rocky hills. Thus, it is satisfied with any type of soil, as long as it is drained and not too rich. It supports limestone, spray and drought well, but fears a wet substrate. For the exhibition, favor full sun! The colder regions will have to grow it in pots, so that it can be stored in winter. This annual or biennial plant is sown in April, once the risk of frost has been eliminated. All you have to do is bury the seeds a few centimeters. Tamp, water and keep the substrate moist until emergence. When the young seedlings have 3-4 leaves, thin out to 30cm.

You can also sow in a bucket or buy it directly. As soon as the plant has five pairs of leaves, plant your bucket in the final location. In pots, remember to install a drainage layer (clay balls or gravel) at the bottom of the container.

Interview :

Not too much for the viperine. A few waterings in the weeks after planting, then don't worry about it!

In pots, on the other hand, the earth dries faster, you will need to water twice a month with a little liquid fertilizer. If you do not want the plant to reseed, systematically cut the faded flowers.

In winter, place your pot in a cool, bright room. If the viperine stays outside, don't hesitate to give it a layer of mulch and a wintering veil.

Video: My Top Medicinal Herbs (August 2022).