Masterwort medicinal herb is used as flavoring for various liqueurs and bitters

Masterwort herb (Astrantia major): By Anneli Salo (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Masterwort (Heracleum lanatum) medicinal herb also called Imperatoria, is from the Apiaceae family.  It should not to be confused with the great plant, Astrantia major, which is in the same family.  It is also a perennial herb and it is native to North America.  The roots and the seeds are the main parts used as herbal medicine and these are collected in the spring or fall. It can be grown in pots if there is not enough space on the outside of your home.  However, it can be a beautiful plant of any decorative or herbal gardens boasting white, pink or blue flowers.

In traditional Austrian medicine, it was utilized both internally as well as externally.  Internally as tea and other liquid forms and externally in the form of tincture, incense and also fumigation.  These actions were able to treat various ailments.

The common names for this medicinal herb are Madnep, Cow Cabbage, Imperatoria, Cow parsnip, Youthwort, Hogweed, Madnep, Heracleum lanatum, Heracleum maximum and also Wooly parsnip. Though it is like angelica, they are two different plants.

The medicinal properties are stimulant, tonic, antiseptic, carminative, emmenagogue, stomachic, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, aromatic, expectorant, antispasmodic and antipyretic.  The constituents are limonene, alpha pinene and peucadanin.

Health benefits of masterwort herb

It is used to treat gas problems, asthma, fevers, colds, colic, spasms, water retention, palsy, dropsy, gastrointestinal tract, epilepsy, flu, colds, cardiovascular system, apoplexy, menstrual conditions as well as bladder conditions. The tea can help to cure migraine headaches as well as stimulating the immune system.

It is an excellent medicinal herb to treat indigestion, bronchitis, infections, paralysis and wounds.  It is a good remedy to rid the stomach of gas.  Also, use it to wash sores, ulcers and wounds.

Culpepper's quote

One of Culpepper's quotes towards this herb is that the 'root is the hottest and sharpest part of the plant, hotter than pepper and very available in cold griefs and diseases both of the stomach and body.'


Take two teaspoonfuls of the available masterwort fluid extract in one cup of water.

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