White Bryony (Bryonia alba)

Perennial Climber
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
White Bryony
Bryonia alba
Cucurbitaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    The root is cathartic, hydrogogue, irritant, pectoral and purgative[4]. The root is harvested in the autumn and can be used either fresh or dried[4]. It should be used with great caution, see notes above on toxicity.

    The fresh root, gathered before the plant comes into flower, is made into a homeopathic remedy[232]. This is used in the treatment of a wide range of complaints[232]. It is said to be one of the best diuretics and an excellent remedy for gravel as well as all other obstructions and disorders of the urinary passage[4].

  • Edible Use

    One report says that the young shoots are edible[2], though caution is advised[K]. See the notes above on toxicity.

  • Cautionary Notes

    All parts of the plant, and especially the root, are poisonous[232]. The root can cause severe diarrhoea and vomiting, resulting in death within a matter of hours[232].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Sow stored seed in late winter in a cold frame. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in early spring.
A rapid grower, it is of easy cultivation succeeding in most soils that are well drained[1], avoiding acid soils in the wild[17]. A climbing plant, attaching itself to other plants by means of tendrils[4]. Plants can be easily encouraged by scattering ripe seed at the base of hedgerows[200]. Plants in the north of their range are monoecious, but those growing in the south are dioecious[200]. Where necessary, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
Europe to W. Asia – Iran.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.