Other Name(s):

Clemátide Recta, Clematis recta, Clématite, Clématite Dressée, Clématite Droite, Ground Virginsbower, Upright Virgin's Bower, Virgin's Bower.


Clematis is an herb. People use the parts that grow above the ground to make medicine.

Despite serious safety concerns, clematis is used for joint pain (rheumatism), headaches, varicose veins, syphilis, gout, bone disorders, ongoing skin conditions, and fluid retention.

Some people apply clematis directly to the skin for blisters and in a wet dressing (as a poultice) to treat infected wounds and ulcers.

How does it work?

The crushed fresh clematis plant contains a chemical that causes skin and mucous membrane irritation. This chemical becomes less effective as the plant dries.

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Joint pain (rheumatism).
  • Headache.
  • Varicose veins.
  • Syphilis.
  • Gout.
  • Bone disorders.
  • Skin conditions.
  • Fluid retention.
  • Blisters, when applied to the skin.
  • Wounds, when applied to the skin.
  • Ulcers, when applied to the skin.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of clematis for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough? See Slideshow

Side Effects

Fresh clematis is UNSAFE to take by mouth. It can cause colic, diarrhea, and severe irritation to the stomach, intestines, and urinary tract when taken by mouth.

The fresh plant is also UNSAFE when applied to the skin. With extended skin contact, the fresh plant can cause slow-healing blisters and burns.

There isn't enough information to know whether it is safe to take dried clematis by mouth or apply the dried plant to the skin.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's UNSAFE to take fresh clematis by mouth or apply it to the skin if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Not enough is known about the safety of taking dried clematis by mouth or applying it to the skin. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.


The appropriate dose of clematis depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for clematis. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Reviewed on 6/14/2021

Blumenthal M, ed. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Trans. S. Klein. Boston, MA: American Botanical Council, 1998.

Gruenwald J, Brendler T, Jaenicke C. PDR for Herbal Medicines. 1st ed. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company, Inc., 1998.

Newall CA, Anderson LA, Philpson JD. Herbal Medicine: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. London, UK: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996.

The Review of Natural Products by Facts and Comparisons. St. Louis, MO: Wolters Kluwer Co., 1999.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors