Pellitory Of The Wall

By Kurt Stüber [1] [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Parietaria diffusa- Pellitory of the Wall

Family: Urticaceae

Other names: Lichwort

Habitat: Native to Europe, including Britain.

Pellitory of the wall has been valued for over 2,000 years for its diuretic action, as a soother of chronic coughs and as a balm for wounds and burns. In European herbal medicine it is regarded as having a restorative action on the kidneys, supporting and strengthening their function. The whole herb, gathered when in flower, is cholagogue, slightly demulcent, diuretic, laxative, refrigerant and vulnerary. It is an efficacious remedy for kidney and bladder stones and other complaints of the urinary system such as cystitis and nephritis. It should not be prescribed to people with hay fever or other allergic conditions. The leaves can be usefully employed externally as a poultice on wounds etc. They have a soothing effect on simple burns and scalds. The plant is harvested when flowering and can be used fresh or dried.

By Dezidor (Own work (own photo)) [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Description of Pellitory Of The Wall:

Parietaria officinalis,Pellitory of the Wall, is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in).

It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to October. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Wind.The plant is not self-fertile.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Cultivation of Pellitory Of The Wall:

Prefers a well-drained to dry alkaline soil in full sun or semi-shade. The plant grows well on drystone walls. The pollen of this plant is one of the earliest and most active of the hay fever allergens. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation of Pellitory Of The Wall:

Seed – sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. Prick out the seedling when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient seed then it can be sown in situ in autumn or spring. Division in spring. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Collection: The parts above ground are collected between June and September.

Culinary uses of Pellitory Of The Wall:

Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: 

Young plant – raw or cooked. The young shoots can be added to mixed salads.

Pellitory-of-the-Wall,Parietaria_officinalisMedicinal uses of Pellitory Of The Wall:

Actions: Diuretic, demulcent.

Part Used: Aerial parts.

Indications: Pellitory of the Wall may be used in the treatment of any inflammation of the urinary tract and especially where soothing of inflammation is needed. It may be used with benefit in cystitis and pyelitis. It is a good general diuretic which is used to relieve water retention where it is due to kidney-based causes. It has an especially valuable role to play in the treatment of kidney stone or gravel.

Preparations & Dosage:

Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.

Tincture: take 1-2 ml of the tincture three times a day.

Combinations: It combines well with Parsley Piert, Buchu, Bearberry or Juniper.

Other uses of Pellitory Of The Wall:


The whole plant is used for cleaning windows and copper containers.

Esoteric uses of Pellitory Of The Wall:

None known but if you use this plant please let us know!

The Chemistry:


* Flavonoids; 3-glucosides & 3-rhamnosides ofquercitin, kaempferol & isorhamnetin; 3-sophorosides of quercitin& kaempferol; 3-neohesperidosides of kaempferol & isorhamnetin

* Glucoproteins

* Bitter principle

* Tannin.

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