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Goutweed, also known as Aegopodium podagraria, was long considered a weed, but has experienced a renaissance as a medicinal plant in recent years. The discovery of the healing properties of goutweed goes back to folk medicine, where it was traditionally used to treat gout and rheumatism. This use earned it the name “goutweed”.

Goutweed: discovery and traditional use

It was already used in ancient times by Greek and Roman healers. In the Middle Ages, it played an important role in monastic medicine. Monks planted it specifically to use it as a remedy. Its calming effect on aching joints and its diuretic properties made it a valuable component of the herbal pharmacy.

Forms of ingestion

Goutweed can be consumed in various forms. It can be eaten fresh as a salad or vegetable, as it has a slightly spicy taste reminiscent of parsley. Dried as a tea, it has a slightly bitter but beneficial effect. Tinctures and capsules are also commercially available.


To make a tea, pour a cup of boiling water over about two teaspoons of dried goutweed and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. No more than three cups of goutweed tea should be drunk per day. For tinctures and capsules, please refer to the package leaflet or consult a naturopath.

Goutweed: healing properties

It is rich in vitamins, especially vitamin C, and minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. These nutrients make it a valuable tonic for the immune system. Goutweed also has the following effects:

  • Anti-inflammatory: Due to the flavonoids and essential oils it contains, it relieves inflammation and pain, especially in joint diseases such as gout and rheumatism.
  • Diuretic: Goutweed promotes the excretion of uric acid, which is particularly helpful for gout.
  • Detoxifying: It supports liver function and helps to detoxify the body.

Goutweed: effects on the body

The antioxidant properties of goutweed protect the cells from free radicals and thus from oxidative stress. The anti-inflammatory active ingredients relieve pain and swelling, while the diuretic effect helps to flush excess fluid and uric acid from the body. This not only supports kidney function, but also promotes joint health.


Goutweed should be taken primarily for acute complaints such as gout attacks or chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatism. It can also be taken regularly to generally strengthen the immune system and detoxify the body.


Although goutweed is considered a safe remedy, pregnant and breastfeeding women and people with a known allergy to umbellifers should exercise caution. Patients with kidney problems should also consult a doctor before taking it, as the diuretic effect can put additional strain on the kidneys.

Food supplements and medicinal plants

Nettle, dandelion and white willow bark can be taken to enhance the effect of goutweed. These plants also support joint health and have an anti-inflammatory effect. Dietary supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids and glucosamine can also be helpful.

Foods rich in ground elder

In nature, it is often found in wild herb salads. In the kitchen, it can be prepared like spinach and is suitable for soups, stews or smoothies.

Goutweed: Possible side effects and overdose

Excessive consumption can cause gastrointestinal complaints such as nausea or diarrhea. Long-term high doses can overload the kidneys. You should therefore always stick to the recommended dosage.

Naturopathic applications

In naturopathy, goutweed is often used as a tea or tincture. It is also used as a poultice or ointment for external application to treat joint pain. This form of application is particularly common for rheumatism and arthritis.

Long-term use and care in the garden

Anyone growing cinquefoil in their garden should know that this plant is very vigorous. This means that it can spread quickly and crowd out other plants. In order to use it specifically as a medicinal plant and at the same time control its growth, it should be grown in raised beds or separate areas. Regular pruning helps to contain the spread and keep the plant healthy.

Goutweed in modern medicine

Goutweed is attracting more and more attention in modern medicine. Studies have shown that its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties are medically relevant. In complementary medicine, it is often used in combination with other natural remedies. It plays a particularly important role in orthomolecular medicine, which is concerned with maintaining health through the regulation of micronutrients.

Recipes with goutweed

Goutweed smoothie

A simple recipe for integrating it into your daily diet is a smoothie:

  • 1 handful of fresh goutweed leaves
  • 1 banana
  • 1 apple
  • 200 ml water or plant milk
  • 1 teaspoon of honey (optional)

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. This smoothie is not only refreshing, but also rich in vitamins and minerals.

Goutweed soup

A warming goutweed soup is ideal for chilly days:

  • 2 handfuls of fresh goutweed
  • 1 onion
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 liter of vegetable stock
  • 1 dash of cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Peel and chop the onion and potatoes and sauté in a pan with a little oil. Add the chickpeas and sauté briefly. Pour in the vegetable stock and simmer for approx. 20 minutes. Puree with a hand blender, stir in the cream and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Research and future prospects

Scientific research into goutweed is still in its infancy, but the results so far are promising. It is thought to contain secondary plant substances that have not yet been fully researched, but may have positive effects on health. In the long term, it could play an even more important role in phytotherapy and nutritional science.

Conclusion: Versatile medicinal plant with potential

Goutweed is a versatile medicinal plant that offers many possible applications, from folk medicine to modern naturopathy. Its anti-inflammatory, diuretic and detoxifying properties make it a valuable remedy for many ailments, especially in the area of joint health and anti-inflammation. When used and dosed correctly, it can make a positive contribution to health and increase well-being.

Integrating it into the daily diet, whether as fresh leaves in salads, as an ingredient in soups or as a medicinal herb in teas and tinctures, offers a natural and effective way to benefit from the healing properties of this plant. With growing scientific interest and further research, goutweed could play an even more important role in naturopathy in the future.

Published on: 5. July 2024


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