Figwort (Scrophularia), Xuan shen in China

Main Facts about Figwort

Figwort (Scrophularia), Xuan shen
Alternating leaves with ragged edges. Flowers look like little open mouths. Square stem.

Using Figwort

In homeopathy, it’s used for enlarged/ swollen glands, breast tumors, ear problems, hemorrhoids. Has powerful painkilling ability. Helps inflammation and pain from arthritis, rheumatism. Used in salves and poultices to soothe inflamed skin in cases of psoriasis and eczema, and to heal burns. Herbalists today consider figwort as a cleansing herb that supports the detoxification of the body.

Figwort is a remedy for: Anxiety, Constipation


Not for use in pregnancy, or by those with a heart condition.

Cooking with Figwort

Dry and use upper part of plant topically for skin afflictions like eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, and as tea for restlessness, anxiety, irregular periods. The roots can be dried out and are a substitute for ginseng. Sweet tasting root.

How to grow Figwort

The preference is medium shade to partial sun, moist to mesic conditions, and soil that is loose and loamy. The size of this plant can be highly variable, depending on its age, location, and environmental conditions. It thrives in wet and damp places, in open woodlands, on riverbanks, and along ditches. The herb is gathered in summer while in flower.