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Usage and health benefits of Common houseleek (Sempervivum Tectorum)

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Sempervivum tectorum L. (Crassulaceae), known as "Common houseleek", is used in traditional medicine to treat inflammation of the ear. It can also be used as a compress on wounds, burns and abscesses, as well as on painful areas attacked by gout, acting as refrigerant and astringent agent. The healing properties of the Common houseleek do not stop here - according to some sources, this flowering plant also has an antitumor effect, as well as other interesting effects.

What is Sempervivum tectorum L.?

Sempervivum tectorum is a plant that in Bulgaria we call "debelets".  [ref. 1]  Sempervivum tectorum is a decorative, evergreen, perennial succulent that usually forms rosettes up to 10 cm in diameter, with 50 to 60 thick, bare leaves. They are green, sometimes with purple tips. The maternal rosette spreads in all directions through horizontal stems to form branches. In summer, leafy, smoky, upright flowering stems rise from the mother rosette up to 30 cm tall, covered in a color of red-purple colors.  [Ref. 2] 

Sempervivum in Latin means "live forever". Its name embodies the ability to survive even under different conditions, but also embodies the place where the plant can most often be found – right on the roofs of the houses. Old people believed that it would protect them from lightning, diseases and witches.

Its healing properties are due to the presence of malic and formic acid in the first place. Sempervivum tectorum L. acts similarly to aloe vera and is considered one of the safest drugs for a wide range of skin diseases.

Healing benefits of Sempervivum tectorum

  • Sempervivum tectorum leaves and juice are used due to their cooling and astringent action, applying externally to soothe many skin diseases. As with many other means that are both astringent and soothing, thick juice simultaneously tightens and softens the skin.
  • Fresh leaves are astringent, diuretic, cooling as action. They are used as a paw almost in the same way as aloe vera in the treatment of a wide range of skin diseases, burns, bites and stings, etc., and are also used to remove stubborn warts and calluses.
  • The Sempervivum tectorum plant is sometimes also used internally for the treatment of shingles, skin complaints and hemorrhoids, although some care is required, since in excess the plant can have a laxative effect or cause vomiting. The leaves are picked as needed and used fresh for this purpose.

In the study "Wound healing activity and phytochemical screening of purified fractions of Sempervivum tectorum L. leaves on HCT 116" examines the potential activity of the thicket for wound healing, the rate of proliferation and intracellular signaling cascades using cells of human epithelial colorectal cancer (HCT 116). The results confirm the efficacy of purified fractions of S. tectorum L. to enhance cell proliferation and migration, suggesting their potential role as local therapeutic treatments for wound healing.  [ref. 3] 

In another study , "Evaluation of Radical Scavenging Activity of Sempervivum tectorum and Corylus avellana Extracts with Different Phenolic Composition" the antioxidant activity of the plant and its diverse phenolic composition is analyzed.  [ref. 4] Antioxidant activity is slightly lower compared to that of Corylus avellana - the ordinary hazel.  [Ref. 5] 

In Bulgarian folk medicine, one of the most famous areas of application is in inflammation of the ear due to the anti-inflammatory action of the plant juice. The ethnopharmacological use of S. tectorum juice for the treatment of ear pain has been demonstrated in "Ethnopharmacological uses of Sempervivum tectorum L. in southern Serbia: Scientific confirmation for the use against otitis linked bacteria", since the juice possesses antimicrobial activity relative to clinical isolates of otitis-related bacteria.  [Ref. 6]

Recipes for the use of Sempervivum tectorum

Simple drops of juice for ear infections

Cut a few leaves in half and squeeze two or three drops of their juice into the sick ear. Let the liquid work for a few minutes, then turn over to drain the liquid from the ear cavity.

Plain tea

You can also use Sempervivum tectorum to make a tea. Tea is very easy to prepare. Place a few dry chopped leaves in a small bowl with 250 ml. temperature of not more than 80°C for about 15 minutes. Then let the tea cool, drain it and drink. Tea can also be used to soothe irritated skin.

Simple recipe for Sempervivum tectorum and honey


  • 300 grams of juicy Sempervivum tectorum leaves
  • 500 grams of honey
  • 200 ml lemon juice

Instructions for preparation:

  • The leaves of Sempervivum tectorum and lemon juice are mixed in a blender.
  • Combine the mixture with the honey.
  • Put the mixture in a glass jar, wrap it in foil and refrigerate it.
  • Take one teaspoon in the morning on an empty stomach, half an hour before breakfast.
  1. What is Sempervivum tectorum L.?

    • Healing benefits of Sempervivum tectorum

      • Recipes for the use of Sempervivum tectorum
        • Simple drops of juice for ear infections
        • Plain tea
        • Simple recipe for Sempervivum tectorum and honey


      The herb Sempervivum tectorum L. is known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. The beautiful green plant is beneficial for treating ear infections, some skin irritations, and its tea is suitable for detoxifying retained toxic substances from the body. 


      1. Sempervivum tectorum
      2. Sempervivum tectorum (Houseleek) - Succulent plants
      3. Just a moment...
      4. Evaluation of Radical Scavenging Activity of Sempervivum tectorum and Corylus avellana Extracts with Different Phenolic Composition - PubMed
      5. Corylus avellana
      6. Redirecting

      The author

      Bettina Tsvetkova is a Bachelor of Marketing and Master of Entrepreneurship, a fan of healthy eating, power sports and cycling. Author of over 1500 scientifically based articles, product texts and promotional materials on a healthy topic for Bulgarian and foreign websites. 


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