Yellow Foxglove plant - Digitalis Lutea (Scrophulariaceae)

Medicinal Use of Yellow Foxglove – Digitalis Lutea (Scrophulariaceae)


Erect perennial growing to 3 ft (1 m). Has narrow, lance-shaped leaves, and long spikes of yellow, bell-shaped flowers.

Habitat & Cultivation

Native to western and central Europe, this herb grows in woodland areas, on roadsides, and in mountainous regions. It is cultivated for medicinal use in Russia. The leaves are harvested in the second summer of growth.

Parts Used



Yellow foxglove contains cardiac glycosides (including the cardenolides alpha-acetyldigitoxin, acetyldigitoxin, and lanatoside). All act to strengthen the beating of a weakened heart.

History & Folklore

Unlike the closely related common foxglove (D. purpurea), yellow foxglove does not appear to have played a significant role in European herbal medicine.

Medicinal Actions & Uses

Yellow foxglove is little employed in herbal medicine, but in fact it is a less toxic alternative to purple foxglove and woolly foxglove (D. lanata). It has similar medicinal actions but its alkaloids are more readily metabolized and flushed out by the body. Like other foxgloves, this plant supports a weakened or failing heart, increasing the strength of contraction, slowing and steadying the heart rate, and lowering blood pressure by strongly stimulating the production of urine, which reduces overall blood volume.

Related Species

Common foxglove.


Excessive doses of yellow foxglove can prove fatal. Use only under professional supervision. This plant is subject to legal restrictions in some countries.