Speedwell (Veronica officinalis), also known as “women’s and men’s balsam”, is a medicinal plant that has been valued in folk medicine for centuries. Its healing properties were discovered in the Middle Ages when monks and herbalists cultivated it in monastery gardens. It belongs to the plantain family and prefers to grow in sparse forests and meadows in Europe and Asia.

Speedwell: discovery and traditional use

The healing power of speedwell was discovered through observation and experience. In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, speedwell was a popular remedy for the so-called “wounds of honor”, small cuts and skin diseases. Monks and nuns in monasteries collected and used the plant to make ointments and tinctures to treat wounds and ulcers.

Dosage forms and dosage

Speedwell can be taken in various forms. The plant is often dried and prepared as a tea. To do this, pour 250 ml of boiling water over about 2 teaspoons of dried herb and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. It is recommended to drink two to three cups a day.

Another common form is tincture. This is made by soaking fresh or dried parts of the plant in alcohol. The dosage is around 20-30 drops of the tincture, which is diluted with water and taken three times a day.

Speedwell can also be taken as an extract in the form of capsules or tablets. In this case, the dosage should be taken according to the package leaflet or after consulting a naturopath.

Speedwell: healing effects and areas of application

Speedwell is used for a variety of ailments. The most important areas of application are

  • Skin diseases: Due to its anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties, speedwell is used for eczema, psoriasis and minor injuries.
  • Respiratory diseases: The plant has an expectorant and calming effect on coughs, bronchitis and asthma.
  • Digestive complaints: Speedwell promotes digestion, relieves flatulence and stomach complaints.
  • Liver and gallbladder complaints: It promotes liver function and bile flow.
  • Rheumatism and gout: The anti-inflammatory properties of the plant can relieve pain and swelling in rheumatic diseases.
  • Strengthening the immune system: The plant has an immunomodulating effect and can strengthen the body’s defenses.

Speedwell: How it works in the body

The healing active ingredients of speedwell are mainly glycosides, iridoids, flavonoids and tannins. These ingredients have an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant effect. They promote the regeneration of the skin, support the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract and have a positive effect on the digestive system.

The iridoids are particularly effective against inflammation and pain, while the flavonoids and tannins promote blood circulation and have an antioxidant effect. This combination of active ingredients makes speedwell a versatile remedy.

When to take and supplementation

Speedwell should be taken for acute complaints such as coughs, skin rashes or digestive problems. The plant can also be taken regularly as a preventative measure to strengthen the immune system.

It is particularly useful at the first signs of a cold or during the cold season. To support liver function or to treat chronic skin diseases, speedwell can also be taken as a cure over a period of four to six weeks.

Contraindications and precautions

Although speedwell is generally well tolerated, there are certain groups of people who are not recommended to take it. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should refrain from taking it, as there are insufficient studies on its safety. Small children should also only take it after consulting a doctor.

People with a known allergy to plants from the plantain family should avoid speedwell. In rare cases, allergic reactions may occur.

Complementary medicinal plants and food supplements

Other medicinal plants and dietary supplements can be taken to support the effect of speedwell. Nettle and dandelion support liver function and detoxification. Thyme and marshmallow also have an expectorant and soothing effect on respiratory diseases.

Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin C can enhance the anti-inflammatory effect of speedwell. Probiotics promote healthy intestinal flora and support digestion.

Speedwell: ingredients and possible side effects

Speedwell is mainly found in concentrated form in teas, tinctures and dietary supplements. In nature, it is mainly found in meadows and sparse forests.

Possible side effects include stomach complaints and diarrhea, especially in the case of an overdose. Headaches and dizziness can also occur if the dosage is too high. It is important not to exceed the recommended dosage and to stop taking it immediately if side effects occur.

Conventional medicine and naturopathy

In traditional European medicine, speedwell is often used in combination with other herbs to enhance its healing effect. It is a component of many tea mixtures and tinctures that are used for colds, skin diseases and digestive complaints.

Speedwell is also used in modern phytotherapy. Naturopaths value the plant for its versatility and good tolerability.


Speedwell is a versatile medicinal plant that is valued in naturopathy for its anti-inflammatory, expectorant and wound-healing properties. It is easy to use and can be taken as a tea, tincture or extract. The plant is suitable for treating skin and respiratory diseases, supporting digestion and strengthening the immune system. Despite its positive properties, speedwell should be taken with caution and in the recommended dosage to avoid side effects.

Published on: 29. June 2024


Stay up to date

Subscribe to our newsletter.