The Urinary herb is an inconspicuous plant that grows flat on the ground on sandy soils and wasteland. Their modesty makes them an ideal lawn substitute. It has been known as a medicinal plant since the Middle Ages. Their healing effect has become in the popular name Kidney herb dejected.
Occurrence & cultivation of urineweedIn addition to its healing benefits, the plant is popular with gardeners as a ground cover and lawn substitute. The Urinary herb has the botanical name Glabra hernia. The herb belongs to the carnation family and is native to the temperate latitudes of Europe and western Asia. The plant can be annual, biennial or perennial. It grows flat on the ground and the stems reach a maximum length of up to 30 centimeters. The herb branches along the ground and only grows up to three centimeters high.
The bright green to yellowish leaves are ovate and evergreen. The flowering time with radial whitish-green flowers extends from July to autumn. The plant then forms a thin-walled nut fruit with black seeds. The herb prefers sunny locations and sandy soils. It can be found on dry sand areas, slopes, sand pits, heaths, and fallow land. It also settles on cracks in the pavement or unused traffic islands.
The most important ingredients in urine are saponins, flavonoids, coumarins and essential oils. Folk medicine attributes a diuretic effect to the saponins and flavonoids they contain. The saponins cause the herb to foam like soap when rubbed, and that's why it's popularly named Cuckoo soap registered. The ingredients of the herb have not yet been investigated pharmacologically enough.
Effect & application
The medicinal use can be dated back to the 16th century. In Austria the herb is recognized as a medicinal product. In Germany it is mainly used in folk medicine as a home remedy or in naturopathy. The components used as remedies are the parts harvested and dried above ground. The plant contains the most effective ingredients at flowering time. As a remedy there is the herb in the form of dragees, tonic or teas. These are available in pharmacies, herbalists or online stores.
Sometimes the plant is contained in bladder and kidney teas or in finished medicinal products from the field of urology. The sources of supply of the herb are mainly wild collections, since it does not play a role in pharmacology or agriculture as a cultivated plant. The herb needs a dry, cool and light-protected storage. It is used externally in folk medicine as a bath additive or wash and, according to tradition, helps with reddened skin and swollen limbs. In addition to its healing benefits, the plant is popular with gardeners as a ground cover and lawn substitute.
It is suitable for rock gardens and natural gardens and scores with its crush resistance. It is easy to care for and does not require any further care after planting. This property, and the advantage that it is evergreen, makes it ideal for greening graves or for edging flower beds. However, it needs a sunny location and sandy, but not too dry, soil in order to settle and thrive.
Importance for health, treatment & prevention
In the late Middle Ages and in the modern era, urinary herbs were a versatile remedy: It was used for bladder and kidney problems, and venereal diseases. In the meantime, more effective drugs for these diseases are used in conventional medicine. Commission E, a German commission of experts for the evaluation of herbal medicinal products, rejects therapeutic use of the herb.
The effectiveness is not sufficiently proven. Only a weak antispasmodic effect has been scientifically proven. Individual studies investigate the benefits of this plant and have shown that it lowered the high blood pressure and increased kidney function positively.
Another study showed that the plant had a strong antimicrobial effect against uropathogenic E. coli bacteria. This type of bacteria is responsible for urinary tract problems. The study suggests that the herb may be effective for bladder and urinary tract disorders. In Austria, the herb is used for disorders of the bladder, kidneys, respiratory tract such as bronchitis, the lungs and the skin.
Folk medicine and naturopathy attribute positive effects on the bladder and kidney function to the urine. It clears the airways through cough suppressant and expectorant properties. It also has a disinfectant and wound healing effect, so that it can be used externally as a poultice for reddened skin. The teas are used as flushing therapy for urinary stones and cramps.
The diuretic effect is most effective with two to three cups of tea a day: Mix about one and a half grams of the cut herb with cold water and briefly bring to the boil. Then let the tea steep for five minutes and then pour it through a sieve. The herb tastes slightly scratchy and has a calming effect. Homeopathy also uses the fresh parts of the plant in the treatment of kidney diseases and diseases of the lower urinary tract. Side effects of the application are not known. However, traditions do not replace a doctor. It is advisable to discuss an application with the attending physician in advance.