Medicinal plants

Mignonette – Application & Treatment for Health


Mignonette , as the generic term of this genus, includes various types of cultivated and ornamental plants, regionally the plant is also referred to as Wau. As a naturally occurring species, mignonette is found throughout the European continent, in Asia, North Africa and the Mediterranean.

Occurrence and cultivation of mignonette

The plant family of the mignonette family, Resedaceae , loves sunny to semi-shady places in beds, roadsides, fields or meadows. Mignonette only thrive on nutrient-rich soil, cultivation in your own garden is possible without further ado, provided that you pay attention to a sunny location, if possible in semi-shade and the soil conditions.

There are annual but also perennial growth forms of the genus mignonette . The leaves can be undivided or pinnate, depending on the species. The growth height can also be from 25 to 130 centimeters, depending on the species. The flowers of mignonette are whitish to yellow in color, while the Wau forms the typical capsule fruits that can grow up to 15 millimeters long as it continues to grow.

All types of mignonette flower from around mid-June to the end of September. Bees find a rich supply of pollen on the plant, but only a moderate supply of nectar. The most common are 5 genera of the mignonette plant family, including the yellow mignonette and the so-called dyer’s mignonette . This species was also used to dye textiles in the past. Mignonette originally comes from western Asia and south-eastern Europe.

After becoming wild, all types of speech are now also native to all other European regions. A particularly popular seed mixture is marketed under the name “Veitshöchheimer Bienenweide”, which contains a mixture of yellow and dyer mignonette.

Effect & Application

Mignonettes often stand inconspicuously along the wayside, but they are still a pretty type of flower with a typically pleasant scent. Mignonette is rarely found as an ornamental plant in the garden, and even less well known is the fact that all mignonette species are medicinal plants. The name mignonette comes from Roman times, derived from the Latin word “resedere”, which translated means “to calm” or “to heal”. The Romans already knew about the healing effects of mignonette, but this knowledge was largely lost over time.

However, the still healing effects can be derived from old Roman writings. Both internal and external use is possible. Bruises and bruises can be treated with a plant pulp made from fresh, crushed plant parts.

Since the dyer’s mignonette was also used to dye textiles in the past, this species is also called dyer’s woof.

However, the modern textile industry has no interest in these specific properties of the plant. As a tea infusion, mignonette can be used against nervousness , insomnia or to relieve pain in abdominal cramps . The main components of the Wau are flavones, saponins and mustard oils, which are probably responsible for the antimicrobial effect.

In Germany, dyer’s mignonette was cultivated on fields until the 19th century. This cultivation method has also fallen into oblivion and is no longer common today. Only the upper flowering parts of the plant contain the specific pigments luteolin and apigenin. However, these are not textile-safe, so they do not bind permanently to the textile fibers and are washed out again after the first wash. This is probably the main reason why the textile industry shows no further interest in commercial marketing of dyer’s mignonette.

Importance for health, treatment & prevention

As a medicinal plant, mignonette plays at most a subordinate role for therapeutic purposes. The knowledge of the healing effects is today only known to traditional folk medicine or the empirical naturopathic tradition. According to tradition from Roman times, medicinal preparations made from mignonette have a calming, pain-relieving effect on insomnia, inner restlessness , bruises or bruises, i.e. hematomas .

Some sources also report a healing effect on insect bites , it is important to use the freshly crushed herb directly on the bite site. A prophylactic, i.e. preventive effect is not known. All parts of the medicinal plant are non-toxic, and salads can also be prepared from flowers, leaves and stems. The taste is described as mildly spicy and cress-like. Due to the ubiquitous distribution, all genera of the plant are considered harmless and are not under nature protection to this day. All species of the genus mignonette are said to have healing effects, including the dyer’s woe.

Nurseries now sell mignonette expressly as an ornamental plant, despite the perennial’s many good qualities. The fragrant flowers exude a natural charm, which can be ideally complemented in the garden, especially with other ornamental plants. For example, a combination of mignonette with viper’s bugloss or wild carrot is interesting. To the best of our knowledge, a comprehensive botanical analysis of the constituents of mignonette plants has not yet been carried out.

The medicinal potential of the mignonette plants is undisputed even among experts, even if the medicinal plant has unfortunately been completely forgotten. There are no known risks, side effects or interactions, even with intensive or long-term use of the non-toxic plant. In individual cases, at most, hypersensitivity reactions in the case of an allergic disposition would be conceivable.

However, it is recommended to inform the doctor treating you when using mignonette plants for medicinal purposes, internally or externally. Although probably harmless, use in small children or pregnant women is not recommended due to the lack of empirical values.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.