HERB NAME:  Bishop’s Weed (Aegopodium podagraria) is a member of the Apiaceae family, and is a distant cousin of carrots.


COMMON NAME:  Bishopweed, Goutweed, Bishop’s goutweed, Ground Elder, Herb Gerard, Snow on the Mountain (the variegated form).  It is a prolific, invasive, and shade-loving perennial, often used as ground cover. [6]

This wild medicinal plant is the bane of my existence at my current residence.  I have lived here for nearly 15 years, and every year, despite my efforts, it becomes more prolific than ever.




Until a few years ago, I couldn’t even find any herbal information on potential uses, however, as I’ve dug deeper, more interesting facts and history are coming to light.


Bishop’s weed has a history that goes back all the way to Neanderthals, according to archeological records. [2] It was popular in the middle ages as a food source, as well as for medicinal purposes.  In particular, it was a popular for offsetting inflammation and pain associated with gout and rheumatism. [5]  It has also been found to be helpful for sciatica, lower back pain (the tea), as well as burns, bites, and even hemorrhoids (poultice). [3]


This herb is sometimes referred to as Herb Gerard, in reference to St. Gerard, who was said to be so poor it was his main food source. [1]




(Bishop’s Weed) is:

  • Anti-inflammatory – Helps reduce and prevent inflammation [5]
  • DiureticEncourages the body to release fluids
  • Nutritive – Has good nutritional value
  • Sedative – Promotes relaxation and sleepiness
  • Vulnerary – Supports healing




FLOWER ESSENCE: Bishop’s Weed may be helpful for coping with anger and frustration, aiding in self-understanding and acceptance. It also may help us remember that help and compassion can often be found in unlikely places, and to be open to accepting.


SPIRITUAL CONNECTIONS: This herb has connections with both Mars and Saturn [7], which is demonstrated by its rather aggressive nature.  According to Felicity Roberts, in “Radical Fare Episode 5: Goutweed. Aggressive, Invasive And Delicious”, Bishop’s weed is also known for bringing about connections with nature spirits, which help bring about change, growth, and pushing through systems of control. (You can check out her blog here.  Definitely worth reading!)





Bishop’s weed can be used internally, as a tea or infusion, and externally as a poultice.  Both the fresh and dried herb can be used. [4]

In cooking, the tender young leaves are best, and are used in salad, soup, pesto, bread, quiche, and pretty much any dish where you would use greens.

It is noted to have an abundance of iron and potassium, as well as vitamin C. [3]  This herb also contains calcium, magnesium, and antioxidants. [2]






Recipes for Bishop’s Weed.  (I have not personally tried these – yet! – but would love to hear from you if you do!)


Pernicious Pasta – An herbed linguini recipe

Ground Elder Pesto – A good pesto recipe is essential!

Bishop’s Weed Soup – I bet this would go well with Lambsquarters, too!

Ground Elder and Cottage Cheese Pie – A savory pastry pie filled with herbal goodness.







  1. http://www.eattheweeds.com/gout-weed/
  2. http://herballeaf.eu/goutweed-grounaler-arthritis/
  3. http://mediplantepirus.med.uoi.gr/pharmacology_en/plant_details.php?id=160
  4. http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/a/aegopodium-podagraria=ground-elder.php
  5. https://pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Aegopodium+podagraria
  6. https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/aegopodium-podagraria/
  7. https://www.theracketonline.com/main/radical-fare-goutweed



Disclaimer:  Linden Tree Intuitive would like to remind you to consult with your doctor for all things medical.  We do not diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any illness or disease.  All material in this blog is for informational purposes only, and you are encouraged to do your own research and question everything!






Lizbeth Russell, M.Ed, HHP, RMT received her Holistic Health Practitioner diploma (High Honors) through the American College of Healthcare Sciences in Portland, Oregon, She is a Wellness Mentor, Herbalist, and Kundalini Reiki Master-Teacher, guiding clients on their path to self-love by creating an oasis of self-care.

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