Red Soapwort

What other names is Red Soapwort known by?

Bouncing-Bet, Herbe à Foulon, Herbe à Savon, Jabonera Roja, Saponaire, Saponaire Commune, Saponaire Officinale, Saponaire Rouge, Saponaria officinalis, Saponariae Rubrae Radix, Savonniè re, Soapwort.

What is Red Soapwort?

Red soapwort is a plant. It got its name from the fact that Franciscan and Dominican monks in the Middle Ages viewed soapwort as a divine gift that was meant to keep them clean.

Red soapwort root is used as medicine. Be careful not to confuse red soapwort with white soapwort.

People take red soapwort for swollen airways (bronchitis).

They sometimes put red soapwort directly on the skin to treat poison ivy, acne, psoriasis, eczema, and boils.

In manufacturing, red soapwort is used as an ingredient in soaps, herbal shampoos, and detergents.

Red soapwort is used as a foaming agent in beer.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Swollen airways (bronchitis).
  • Poison ivy, when applied to the skin.
  • Acne, when applied to the skin.
  • Psoriasis, when applied to the skin.
  • Eczema, when applied to the skin.
  • Boils, when applied to the skin.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of red soapwort for these uses.

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How does Red Soapwort work?

Red soapwort contains chemicals that may thin mucus and make it easier to cough up.

Are there safety concerns?

Red soapwort seems safe for most people when used on the skin. There are no reported side effects when red soapwort is used in soaps and shampoos.

Red soapwort might be safe when taken by mouth. However, it can cause some side effects including stomach irritation, nausea, and vomiting.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

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

Stomach or intestinal disorders such as ulcers or inflammatory bowel disease: Red soapwort can make these conditions worse. Don't use it if you have stomach or intestinal problems.

Dosing considerations for Red Soapwort.

The appropriate dose of red soapwort 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 red soapwort. 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.

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).

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Last Editorial Review: 3/29/2011