Plumbago europaea

Flora Palaestina Ethnobotany

Plumbago europaea L.


  • European Leadwort
  • European Plumbago
  • Matarrabiosa
  • hamshi حَمشي
  • khamshi خامشة
  • rasasiya رصاصية
  • ofrit eiropit
  • עָפְרִית אֵירוֹפִּית


  • Batha
  • Phrygana
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Medicinal Complaints / Uses

Plumbago europaea L.

System/State Traditional
Activity / Interpretation
Preparation/ Administration
Parts Used



Grind aerial parts, cook & apply to affected skin.

Aerial parts B

Hair loss

Hair restorer

Cook leaves in water & spread over head.

Leaf Z

Ringworm (Tinea)


1. Grind aerial parts, cook & apply to affected skin. (B)
2. Mash fresh leaves & apply to affected area. (Z)

Aerial parts, Leaf B, Z



1. Grind aerial parts, cook & apply to affected skin.(B)
2. Mash fresh leaves & apply to affected area. (Z)

Aerial parts, Leaf B, Z



1. Decoct grated small pieces of root in water for 1 hr until concentrated decoction formed; filter through gauze & drink filtrate x3 cups/day.
2. Prepare suppository from fresh leaves + henna (Lawsonia inermis) & apply locally.

Leaf, Root Z
Musculoskeletal/ Joints

Rheumatic pain

Analgesic, Anti-inflammatory Anti-Arthritic

1. Crush fresh leaves, twigs & branches into fine powder, roll into cigarette & burn skin (See NOTES 1).
2. Apply leaves to skin where a burn is intended & tie well. (See NOTES 2). When burn wound opens, insert a chickpea (Cicer arietinum), then cover with large leaf (grape, mulberry or cyclamen) & tie. (See NOTES 3)

Branch /twig, Leaf Z
Oral Health



Crush leaves + henna (Lawsonia inermis) + grilled onion (Allium cepa) & apply juice around painful area.

Leaf B
Wound Healing

Antiseptic for skin & wounds


Decoct leaves/ branches in water & apply externally.

Branch /twig, Leaf Z

The authors of FLORAPALE, (Flora Palaestina Ethnobotanical) web site do not take responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of the plants described here. Always seek advice from a health professional before using a plant medicinally or for other purposes. See DISCLAIMER.


1. In the Rheumatic pain recipe (1), a cigarette made from Plumbago leaves is used to cause a deliberate burn. Applying heated plant material to the skin & causing a burn was historically used to treat various problems especially chronic ones. It is still widely used in various traditional medical systems including Chinese Medicine and is known as "moxibustion".
2. In the rheumatic pian recipe (2), Z notes that unignited leaves applied directly to the skin are also used for Rheumatic pain. This may refer to Plumbago europea leaves known to be vesicant (i.e. burn inducing), being used for this purpose.
3. In the same recipe insering a chick pea intothe wound may induce the wound to stay open for a prolonged period.


Plumbago genus has species containing plumbagin that stimulates muscles at low doses but is toxic & paralyses at higher than recommended doeses. Death is from respiratory failure, paralysis & nucleotoxic & cytotoxic effects. Other common side effects include skin rashes, diarrhea, increased neutrophil & White blood count, hepatic toxicity, increase in acid phosphatase & serum phosphatase. Can also have adverse effects on the skin, causing dermatitis & acute vesicular skin conditions including in animals (dogs)