Sedum (Sedum telephium) for Herbal Naturopathy: properties, benefits, uses, side effects

Sedum, scientific name Sedum telephium, is also known as “Madonna’s herb”. The sedum plant belongs to the Crassulaceae family, it is therefore a succulent plant, native to Europe, highly appreciated for its healing properties. Let’s find out better.

Sedum property

The sedum plant contains flavonoids, polysaccharides – the two main chemical constituents with pharmacological activity – resins, mucilages, pectins and polyphenols.

Sedum is a very popular plant in herbal medicine and also in the medical field: the substances it contains give it healing, emollient, astringent, but also pain-relieving properties. Its strength lies precisely in the synergistic combination of bacteriostatic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and re-epithelizing properties.

Fresh leaves are used externally as natural anti-inflammatories, to soothe sores or ulcers of the skin or mouth, abscesses, as healing in case of wounds, boils, warts, calluses, burns, erythema and sunburn, cysts, fistulas, osteitis, mastitis.

Its topical application also favors the escape of subcutaneous foreign bodies.

How to use

It is used as an antiepileptic, for memory, as an astringent in case of dysentery, sudorific and antiscorbtic. The leaves can be eaten fresh in salads, moderately to avoid cases of intolerance.

The leaves are used fresh in direct contact with the part of the skin to be treated. They can also be used as a poultice, in the case of abscesses or hemorrhoids for example, mixed with other herbs such as marshmallow and calendula. The lower film of the leaf is removed and applied directly to the part to be treated. Fresh leaves can also be frozen.

Sedum contraindications

Hypersensitivity towards the components. Do not use in children under 12 years old, pregnant or breastfeeding women or if you have serious medical conditions.

Particular contraindications regarding external use may concern dermatitis which are kept under control with the suspension of use of the preparation and with the application of a soothing ointment.

Description of the plant

The Sedum plant is a perennial succulent plant, of medium height and herbaceous appearance, with few flat leaves of the laminar type placed alternately. The flowers are dark red tending to purplish. There are many varieties of sedum.

Sedum habitat

Sedum is a plant native to the cold and temperate – cold areas of Eurasia. In Italy it grows spontaneously on humid and shady hills, in uncultivated meadows, mountainous areas, even stony ones, on the edge of woods and dirt paths.

You can also grow it in your own garden and use this plant when the need arises. You can even freeze the fresh leaves, which must be harvested in summer, even better if in July and August. The lower film of the leaf is removed and applied directly to the part to be treated.


The name of the genus Sedum is defined by Linnaeus and could derive from the verb “Sedeo” = “I sit” due to the progress of the plant, or from “sedate”, “calm” with reference to some properties of the same.

As there are many species, so are the names that accompany the history of this plant: Madonna’s wort, St. John’s wort, telefio, borracina major, fussy grass, corn grass and others.

Abroad its English name is curious, Witch´s Moneybags, the witch’s coin holder. Popular tradition has it that the root was worn as an amulet against hemorrhoids.

In Germany sedum is applied locally on tumors.

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