Medicinal plant indicated in case of heart failure , sold only under medical prescription, can be found in tablet form ready to use.


English name: foxglove, beloura, snapdragons, snaps
Binomial name: Digitalis purpurea (sometimes subspecies: Digitalis purpurea ssp. purpurea)
French name: digitale , digitale pourprée
English name: foxglove
German name: Roter Fingerhut
Italian name : scan


Scrofulariaceae (escrofulariáceas)


Cardiotonic glycosides (cardenolides), digitoxin, digoxin, saponins

parts used

Dry leaves


Cardiotonic (positive inotropic: increased myocardial contractility and negative chronotropic: decreases heart rate), diuretic, wound healing.


Acute or chronic heart failure .

Secundary effects

Attention, do not exceed the dose prescribed by the doctor (risk of intoxication). When purchasing a medication, read the leaflet and ask a specialist for advice.


When purchasing a medication, read the leaflet and ask a specialist for advice.


When buying a medicine, read the leaflet and consult a specialist. There is a particularly high risk of interaction between dronedarone and digoxin.


– Pills based on digoxin (active principle of foxglove), available in pharmacies.

Heads up! Do not make infusions or teas based on foxglove, as this can be very toxic (poisonous) and even deadly!

Where does it grow?

Foxglove grows in Europe, in the Alps. It is mostly found along roadsides. The plant can reach a height of 40 to 150 cm. In Europe, foxglove blooms from June to September. It is perennial (can live for several years) or biennial.


– Medicines based on foxglove (whose main active ingredient is digoxin) must always be prescribed by a doctor and in cases of very specific heart disease (for example, heart failure.). Under no circumstances should they be consumed in self-medication.

In 2015, a study of studies (meta-analysis) showed that patients with heart failure or atrial fibrillation who used foxglove medications such as digitalis or digoxin had a 21% higher mortality risk than those who did not use these medicines.

These are the conclusions of a study conducted by cardiologist Stefan Hohnloser at the University Clinic (Universitätsklinikum) in Frankfurt, Germany, published in the European Heart Journal in 2015. The scientists analyzed 19 digitalis-related studies carried out between 1993 and 2014. these studies pooled data from more than 326,000 patients, all of whom suffered from heart failure or atrial fibrillation.

In patients who received digitalis, the death rate averaged 21% higher than in those who were prescribed other medications. More specifically, patients suffering from atrial fibrillation had a 29% higher mortality rate and those with heart failure 14% higher.

According to researchers, there are effective alternatives to treatments with foxglove extracts. If a patient has been undergoing this treatment for a long time, continuing or stopping treatment is a case-by-case decision to be made jointly with the doctor and patient. But prescribing foxglove and its extracts to a new patient currently makes no sense. We can say that this is an old medicine, from the past, as the risks outweigh the benefits.

– In cases of signs of nervousness, nausea, increased heart rate, abnormal heart signs or other suspected side effects, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately, as it may be an overdose. Digoxin is a drug with a narrow therapeutic window, that is, the interval between the therapeutic dose and the toxic dose is small.

– The effect of foxglove on the heart was recognized in 1786 by the English physician William Withering.

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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