Perennial herb growing to 1 ft (30 cm). Has smooth alternate leaves and large white flowers with yellow centers.
Habitat & Cultivation
Pellitory is native to the Mediterranean region as far east as the Middle East. It is cultivated in Algeria, and the root is unearthed in autumn.
Root, essential oil.
Pellitory contains anacycline, inulin, and volatile oil.
History & Folklore
The herbalist Nicholas Culpeper wrote in 1652 that pellitory “purgeth the brain of phlegmatic humours… easing pains in the head and teeth,” It has been listed in the British Pharmacopoeia and was used in the form of lozenges to relieve dryness of the mouth. It was also taken to help ease neuralgia and paralysis of the tongue or lips.
Medicinal Actions & Uses
Pellitory root is taken as a decoction or chewed to relieve toothache and increase saliva production. The decoction may also be used as a gargle to soothe sore throats. In Ayurvedic medicine, pellitory root is considered tonic and is used to treat paralysis and epilepsy. Diluted pellitory essential oil is used in mouthwashes and to treat toothache.
Do not take the oil internally except under professional supervision.