Parietaria officinalis, also known as pellitory of the wall, upright pellitory or lichwort, is a plant of the Urticaceae family that includes also the nettle. The people who suffer from seasonal allergies surely have heard of the pellitory since its pollen can cause sneezing, rhinitis and asthma. However, the pellitory has also beneficial properties for the health.
The remedy, taken orally, shows a diuretic, emollient and purifying effect, useful in case of water retention, stones, cystitis, hemorrhoids but also rheumatism and gout. Moreover, the parietaria also shows an anti-inflammatory and expectorant action, helpful against coughs, colds and sore throats, as well as a very interesting antiviral action that has been the subject of scientific studies with the purpose to understand possible future applications in case of shingles (herpes zoster) or HIV (Manganelli et al, Journal of Ethnophamracology, Jan 2005). Finally, thanks to its cicatrizing, soothing and anti-inflammatory action, pellitory can also be used for external applications to treat wounds, ulcers, burns, dermatitis, chapped lips, cracked skin of heels and elbows, insect bites and also skin rashes caused, for example, from nettles.
Internally, the parietaria can be taken in the form of herbal tea or mother tincture. For the preparation of the herbal tea boil a liter of water, then remove from the heat and add 2 tablespoons of dried plant, leave to brew for 10 minutes then filter and drink one to three cups a day. The mother tincture, on the other hand, is taken in the dose of 30 drops twice a day in a little water. For external applications you can make a poultice by crushing a handful of fresh plant and reducing it to pulp, then apply directly on the area. Avoid using the pellitory in case of plant allergy and ask your doctor for advice if you are taking other drugs in order to avoid interactions.
Cleaning of glass
Finally a little curiosity, the pellitory is also able to clean glass and bottles by removing any deposit. For this purpose, you can rub the surface with the parietaria leaves, then pass with a clean cloth.