Last Editorial Review: 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Bibernellkraut, Boucage, Boucage Saxifrage, Burnet Saxifrage, Fausse Saxifrage, Grand Boucage, Greater Burnet-Saxifrage, Persil de Bouc, Pied-de-Chèvre, Pimpernell, Pimpinella magna, Pimpinella major, Pimpinella saxifraga, Pimpinellae Herba, Pimpinellae Radix, Pimpinelle, Saxifrage.


Pimpinella is an herb. The root and the parts of the plant that grow above the ground are used as medicine.

People take pimpinella for upper respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections (UTIs), bladder and kidney stones, and fluid retention (edema). Pimpinella is also used to help digestion.

Some people apply pimpinella directly to the affected area for sore mouth and throat or add it to bath water to treat poorly healing wounds and varicose veins.

There are reports that some makers of pimpinella root products “stretch” their product by secretly adding other herbs including Heracleum sphondylium (Masterwort), Heracleum mantegazzianum, and Pastinaca sativa (Parsnip).

How does it work?

There is interest in using pimpinella root for respiratory infections because it is thought to help loosen and move airway mucus. However, this effect hasn't been proven.


Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough? See Slideshow

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Respiratory infections.
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs).
  • Bladder and kidney stones.
  • Fluid retention (edema).
  • Stomach and intestinal disorders.
  • Varicose veins, when added to bath water.
  • Wounds, when added to bath water.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of pimpinella for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

There isn't enough information available to know if pimpinella is safe or what the possible side effects might be.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of pimpinella during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.


The appropriate dose of pimpinella depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for pimpinella. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


Gruenwald J, Brendler T, Jaenicke C. PDR for Herbal Medicines. 1st ed. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company, Inc., 1998.

Wichtl MW. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. Ed. N.M. Bisset. Stuttgart: Medpharm GmbH Scientific Publishers, 1994.