According to medieval magic treatises, the exorcists chased away evil spirits with the smoke that came from burning this plant.
The name comes from the Latin word fumus, which means smoke, and refers to the set of these plants, coloring grayish, it looks like an emanation of smoke (in the French language it is known as fumeterre: “smoke on the floor”).
It is said that the juice of the plant irritates the eyes and makes people cry, as smoke would do. For that reason in some European regions it is “the grass of the widow”

It is annual, with a green stem, branched, with gray tones, up to 70 cm high.
The green color of the leaves is so clear that it looks like a diffuse gray. They are plentiful and small. They are divided into lobes (it has been called the parsley faso).
The flowers are born in a peduncle that joins the stem at the same point in which another stalk with leaves leaves. They are distributed along in the form of spikes

He lives in the Eurasian continent and in the countries bordering the Mediterranean.
It adapts to the climatic conditions of North America, where it is currently in the wild.


The whole plant, but especially the flowers, contains an alkaloid, protopine, tannins and fumaric acid, but its therapeutic qualities are due to other unidentified substances.


Dioscorides in the 1st century and Galen in the 2nd century write about the beneficial effects on biliary secretion liver functions.
In the 10th-century Arab doctors continued to apply it and in the 16th century, it was introduced in America as a remedy for intestinal diseases. It is depurative, besides.

The flowers are used, although for convenience the twigs that contain it can be used.
They should be cut when the flowering begins, without waiting for them to wilt. This is in the second half of spring
The fresh plant can be used but if you want to save it for winter, the drying will be done quickly spreading the flowers on canvas or absorbent papers in a ventilated place without light

For visceral disorders, it is used in infusion, prepared with a teaspoon of dried flowers per cup of water. It is taken three times a day after meals: it stimulates bile and urinary secretions, activates the function of the liver and purifies the blood It.

Also helps to undo the gallstones of the liver As a cleanser against skin rashes, infusion can be taken by the mornings fasting although a cup of a depurative juice is preferable that is prepared with watercress, chicory, fresh lettuce leaves and smoke in equal parts.

They are passed through the crusher and the resulting juice is taken in the morning, fasting, with honey or sugar.


The fruit, red, ripe in the middle of winter, is supported, without petiole on the “leaves”. This fruit has a sweet taste that becomes bitter after a few seconds of being chewed

Plant small, shrub, perennial, does not reach the meter in height.
It has a very thick rhizome, from which a thin aerial stem with branches emerges. From them appear plant formations that are modified stems, which look like leaves (filocladio) of a bright green. Only the presence of flowers in the center reveals that they are stems and not leaves.
There are two types of plants: some with male foot and others with female foot, which are differentiated by the flower: the male flower has three stamens and in the female a pistil that gives rise to the fruit.
The fruit is a berry in whose center are the seeds, and it is red.
It blooms in spring and summer.
The fruit ripens during autumn and winter.
It is also called abrupt, wild myrtle and Moorish myrtle, but it should be borne in mind that it has nothing to do with myrtle (shrub 2 meters high).


It grows in the forests, especially in holm oaks, in the shade of the trees that make them up, in the low mountains of Europe and North Africa. It requires calcareous soils and not too cold climates.


The stems, the false leaves, with the fruit and the rhizome are the pharmacologically active parts. They contain essential oils, resins, saponian and minerals, such as calcium and potassium


It is a diuretic plant, but also arouses appetite and lowers fever.

The “leaves” can be collected at any time of the year. If you have the plant in a garden, they can be cut little by little as necessary.
The rhizome is removed, the plant is destroyed.
In autumn is when you accumulate more active ingredients

The leaves and fruits, in infusions (5 or 6 leaves with their fruits for a cup of water), are usually used as diuretics and against fever take two or three cups a day.