Traditional name: it is also called smallflower hairy willowherb.


It is an herbaceous perennial plant belonging to the Onagraceae family, which might reach 80 cm in height. The stem is erect and densely covered with hairs, especially the lower part. The leaves on the lower and middle part stay oppositely, while on the upper part stay alternately, are lanceolate or oval. Flowering occurs in June-July.  The loose and curly flowers are pale pink or pale purple.   The fruit is a cylindrical capsule containing very small black-brownish, hairy, 0.5-2mm long seeds.

Several species of the family occurs in temperate zones and might be very similar to each other. Sometimes they can be differentiated only through a microscopic examination. Hoary willowherb and related species grow on wet fields, marshlands, banks, in grove and wetland, and together with other weeds in large quantities on river meadows.


The drug (Epilobii herba) is contained in the flowering plant above the ground. It must be gathered when the first flowers appear and the herb should not contain thin stem parts.  There are several confusable related species, often hybridized, that is why it needs to be picked carefully. Usually we will get 1 kg of dried drug from 5 kg of fresh herb.

Active substances:

It contains beta-sitosterol and other sitosterol-esters, flavonoids, triperten and tannin.


Its healing effect in the first stage of prostate gland disorders has been clinically proved. Regularly use of hoary willowherb can prevent prostatic hyperplasia. It reduces the number of night urinations and assures a peaceful rest. Having an anti-inflammatory effect, it can be used in case of cystitis and bladder insufficiency, especially for women.  It does not have any side effects, but in case of long-term use it might cause stomach and intestine problems. In traditional medicine it was used for prostate inflammation and enlargement.

Tea: infuse 1 spoon of dried drug with 2.5 dl boiling water and keep it covered for 15-20 minutes. Drink 2-3 cups daily.

One cup weekly is recommended for every man at an age over 40. Otherwise the recommendation depends on the frequency of night urinations.