Fireweed facts

Fireweed is a flower plant which is also called Epilobium angustifolium. Two varieties are found in North America:- var. canescens and var. angustifolium. Fireweed is found in the streams and open woods. Fireweed adapts well to burned or cut-over forests, avalanche areas, swamps, riverbars and deglaciated areas.

Name Fireweed
Scientific Name Epilobium angustifolium
Native Native to Temperate Northern Hemisphere
Common/English Name Fireweed, Great Willowherb, Rosebay Willowherb, Spiked Willowherb, Narrow-leaved fireweed, Perennial fireweed, Great willow-herb, Flowering willow, Rosebay willow-herb, Blood Vine, Blooming Sally, Fireweed, Flowering Willow, Willow Herb, Purple Rocket
Plant Growth Habit Herbaceous, perennial
Soil Well-drained, moist
Plant Size 2 m
Root Fibrous, rhizomatous
Stem Reddish , stout, erect, smooth; Height: 1.3 – 3 m
Leaf Alternate, long lanceolate, deep green, pinnate vines; Length: 4 – 8 inches
Flowering Season June-September
Flower Magenta, deep pink or rose color, obvoate; Length: 0.35-0.80 inch, Diameter: 2-3 cm
Fruit shape & size Capsule, tubular, thick hair, Length: 5–8 cm (2–3.2 inch)
Seed Brown; Length: 1 mm
Fruit Season July-October
Major Nutritions (Raw) Manganese, Mn 1.542 mg (67.04%)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.145 mg (11.15%)
Calcium, Ca 99 mg (9.90%)
Magnesium, Mg 36 mg (8.57%)
Copper, Cu 0.074 mg (8.22%)
Iron, Fe 0.55 mg (6.88%)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1.075 mg (6.72%)
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 26 µg (6.50%)
Total dietary Fiber 2.4 g (6.32%)
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) 0.312 mg (6.24%)
Health Benefits
  • Bone health
  • Prevent diabetes
  • Regulates metabolism
  • Prevent PMS
  • Thyroid ailments
  • Assist blood vessels
  • Brain function
  • Enhance mood
  • Improves vision
  • Cures anemia
Calories in 1 cup chopped (23 gm) 24 Kcal.
Traditional uses
  • This herb is used as a laxative, antispasmodic, tonic and hypnotic which contract the tissues and soften as well as soothe skin.
  • An infusion or tea made from Fireweed helps to treat urinary, prostate problems and gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea or dysentery.
  • Traditionally the plant is used to cleanse, soothe and heal the minor burns, ulcers, skin rashes, afflictions and skin irritations.
  • The Blackfoot Indians use the tea made from roots which is useful in curing constipation.
  • An infusion helps to cure diarrhea of enteric fever or typhoid. In this particular condition others attest its efficacy.
  • It is helpful for intestinal irritation and intestinal digestion.
  • An infusion made from leaves helps in menorrhagia, leucorrhoea and uterine hemorrhage.
  • A poultice of peeled roots assist in skin sores, boils, swellings etc.
  • A poultice of the leaves is applied to mouth ulcers.
  • Poultices of the fresh leaves & flowers can be applied to inflammations of the ears, throat & nose.
  • The poultice made from root and leaves is useful for bruises, skin injuries & infections.
  • The leaves ointment helps to soothe skin problems.
  • The cool decoctions treat hiccups, asthma and whooping cough.
  • A tea of roots and leaves is an aid for abdominal cramps, yeast infections, candida and dysentery.
  • It is used to promote colon.
  • The soaked flower can be used as a gargled to treat sore throat, laryngitis and if combined with leaf is helpful for insomnia as well as headaches.
How to Eat
  • The shoots of Fireweed shoots could be used as a food.
  • The young stems can be consumed raw or added to salads.
  • The root could be roasted.
  • In Alaska, Fireweed is used to make candies, jellies, syrups, and ice cream.
  • In Russia, the leaves are consumed as a tea.
  • Shoots are boiled and consumed with butter.
  • The root can be used as a substitute for coffee and it can be ground into flour to use for bread.