Table of Contents > Herbs & Supplements > Sanicle (Sanicula europa L., Sanicula europaea L., Sanicula L.) Print

Sanicle (Sanicula europa L., Sanicula europaea L., Sanicula L.)


Also listed as: Sanicula europa
Related terms

Related Terms
  • Acylated triterpenoid saponins, Apiaceae (family), caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, European sanicle, flavonoids, glucopyranosyl rosmarinic acid, neochlorogenic acid, oleanane-type triterpenoid saponins, phenolic acids, phenols, poolroot, quercetin, rosmarinic acid, saccharose, sandrosaponin, Sanicula aqua, Sanicula elata, Sanicula elata Ham. var. chinensis Makino, Sanicula graveolens, Sanicula L., saniculae herba, saniculasaponins, saniculoids, saniculoideae (Apiaceae subfamily), saniculoside N, saponins, self-heal, triterpene saponin glycosides, triterpenoid saponins, Umbelliferae (family), wood sanicle.
  • Note: Sanicle has been called "self-heal," which is the common name for Prunella vulgaris L., a member of the Lamiaceae family. Sanicle products have been reported to be contaminated with drooping bittercress (Cardamine enneaphyllos) and great masterwort (Astrantia major).

  • Sanicle (Sanicula europaea, Sanicula europa) is a perennial plant in the Apiaceae family that is found in woodlands across Europe, Asia, and Africa. Sanicle products are generally made from the aerial plant parts.
  • Sanicle has been used for mild lung inflammation and congestion, cough, and bronchitis. Early study has investigated the potential antifungal, antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-HIV effects of sanicle. Sanicle has also been studied for its use in ear infections, atopic eczema, and asthma.

Evidence Table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. GRADE *

Sanicle has been studied for use in asthma. More evidence is needed before a recommendation can be made.


Sanicle may help recurrent ear infections. More evidence is needed before a recommendation can be made.


Sanicle has been studied for use in atopic eczema. More studies are needed.

* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)

Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Antifungal, antioxidant, antiviral, bronchitis, cough (suppression or loosening of mucus), flu, hemorrhoids, HIV, lung inflammation, nerve disorders, wounds.


Adults (18 years and older)

  • Four to six grams of dried or aerial parts of sanicle has been taken by mouth.

Children (under 18 years old)

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose for sanicle, and use in children is not recommended.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.


  • Avoid with known allergy or hypersensitivity to sanicle. Skin rash has been reported with sanicle.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • Use with caution in people taking blood-pressure lowering or diuretic drugs. Avoid in people with gastrointestinal problems due to risk of stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, and irritation.

    Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

    • Sanicle is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.


    Interactions with Drugs

    • Sanicle may have additive effects when taken with antifungal, antioxidant, antiretroviral, antiviral, diuretic, and blood pressure-lowering drugs. Sanicle may also add to the effects of drugs that thin mucus.

    Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

    • Sanicle may have additive effects when taken with antifungal, antioxidant, antiviral, diuretic, and blood pressure-lowering herbs and supplements. Sanicle may also add to the effects of herbs or supplements that thin mucus.

    • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (

    1. Arda N, Goren N, Kuru A, et al. Saniculoside N from Sanicula europaea L. J Nat Prod. 1997;60(11):1170-1173.
    2. Calvino CI, Downie SR. Circumscription and phylogeny of Apiaceae subfamily Saniculoideae based on chloroplast DNA sequences. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2007;44(1):175-191.
    3. Calvino CI, Martinez SG, Downie SR. The evolutionary history of Eryngium (Apiaceae, Saniculoideae): Rapid radiations, long distance dispersals, and hybridizations. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2008;46(3):1129-1150.
    4. Cheel J, Schmeda-Hirschmann G, Jordan M, et al. Free radical scavenging activity and secondary metabolites from in vitro cultures of Sanicula graveolens. Z Naturforsch [C.] 2007;62(7-8):555-562.
    5. Engel S, Horn K. [Phytodermatosis by Dictamnus alba, Sanicula europaea and Phyllodendron consanguineum]. Dermatol Monatsschr. 1972;158(1):22-27.
    6. Hiller K. [On the contents of some saniculoids. 1. Sanicula europaea L.--isolation and quantitative understanding of chlorogenic and rosmarinus acid]. Pharmazie 1965;20(9):574-579.
    7. Karagoz A, Arda N, Goren N, et al. Antiviral activity of Sanicula europaea L. extracts on multiplication of human parainfluenza virus type 2. Phytother Res. 1999;13(5):436-438.
    8. Lamaison JL, Petitjean-Freytet C, Carnat A. [Rosmarinic acid, total hydroxycinnamic derivatives and antioxidant activity of Apiaceae, Borraginaceae and Lamiceae medicinals]. Ann Pharm Fr. 1990;48(2):103-108.
    9. Le Claire E, Schwaiger S, Banaigs B, et al. Distribution of a new rosmarinic acid derivative in Eryngium alpinum L. and other Apiaceae. J Agric Food Chem. 6-1-2005;53(11):4367-4372.
    10. Matsushita A, Miyase T, Noguchi H, et al. Oleanane saponins from Sanicula elata var. chinensis. J Nat Prod. 2004;67(3):377-383.
    11. Schopke T, Janka M, Nimtz M, et al. Saniculoside R-1: a new triterpenoid saponin from Sanicula europaea. Planta Med. 1998;64(1):83-85.
    12. Sevar R. Sanicula aqua: three clinical cases and a heuristic. Homeopathy. 2005;94(2):125-131.
    13. Turan K, Nagata K, Kuru A. Antiviral effect of Sanicula europaea L. leaves extract on influenza virus-infected cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 8-5-1996;225(1):22-26.
    14. Vargas P, Baldwin BG, Constance L. Nuclear ribosomal DNA evidence for a western North American origin of Hawaiian and South American species of Sanicula (Apiaceae). Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A 1-6-1998;95(1):235-240.
    15. Viturro C, Molina A, Schmeda-Hirschmann G. Free radical scavengers from Mutisia friesiana (Asteraceae) and Sanicula graveolens (Apiaceae). Phytother Res. 1999;13(5):422-424.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (

    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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