Speedwell

Botanical Name: Veronica officinalis
Family: Plantaginaceae
Common Names/Synonyms :- Fluellin, ground-hele, gypsy weed, low speedwell, Paul’s betony, upland speedwell, veronica.
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Genus: Veronica
Species: V. officinalis

Habitat:Meadows, boarders and thin woods. Generally in the mountains. Grows in damp, open woodlands and grassy areas; found along a forest path.Native  to Europe.  It has been introduced to North America and is widely naturalised there.

Description:
It is a herbaceous perennial with hairy green stems 10–50 cm long.   The hairy stem trails along the ground often forming dense mats.  and send up short vertical shoots which bear soft violet flowers. The leaves are 1.5–5 cm long and 1–3 cm broad, and softly hairy. The leaf arrangement is opposite.Leaves can reach 5cm in length (2inches). Each elliptical leaf is toothed with a very short petiole or none. It flowers from May until August.The flowers are irregular in shape and are up to 0.5cm wide (0.2 inches). They are violet or lavender. Blooms first appear in late spring and continue into mid summer. Close examination of the flowers says  that they are light, sometimes almost white with darker markings. The are in erect racemes
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Cultivation and uses

This speedwell grows in fields and takes hold in areas that have been disturbed. It is a potential weed if its seed gts into collections of agricultural seed, such as alfalfa. Historically the green parts of the plant have been used medicinally for coughs, otitis media, and gastrointestinal distress.

Constituents:
The plant is rich in vitamins, tannins, and the glycoside aucuboside. Aucuboside, which is also found in many other Plantaginaceae species, is thought to have antiinflammatory properties. Extracts are widely sold as herbal remedies for sinus and ear infections.


Medicinal Uses:

The plant has long been used medicinally. The stems leaves and roots are used. Considered to be an astringent, expectorant and diuretic it was used to treat coughs, stomach and urinary disorders, rheumatism and as a general tonic. The Cherokee used it thusly and treated earache with the juice. Tannins, bitters, essential oil and the glycoside aucuboside along with vitamin C are responsible for the medical effects.

In modern herbal medicine, speedwell tea, brewed from the dried flowering plant, sometimes serves as a cough remedy or as a lotion applied to the skin to speed wound healing and relieve itching.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


Resources:

http://www.piam.com/mms_garden/plants.html
http://www.ontariowildflower.com/deciduous.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veronica_officinalis
http://2bnthewild.com/plants/H325.htm
http://www.midwestherbs.com/bulk_herbs/speedwell.htm

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