Balsamorhiza sagittata

Botanical Name :Balsamorhiza sagittata
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Heliantheae
Genus: Balsamorhiza
Species: B. sagittata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales
Common Name:Balsamorhiza sagittata,Arrowleaf balsamroot

Habitat:Balsamorhiza sagittata is native to much of western North America from British Columbia to California to the Dakotas, where it grows in many types of habitat from mountain forests to grassland to desert scrub.

Description:
Balsamorhiza sagittata is a taprooted perennial herb growing a hairy, glandular stem 20 to 60 centimeters tall. The branching, barky root may extend over two meters deep into the soil. The basal leaves are generally triangular in shape and are large, approaching 50 centimeters in maximum length. Leaves farther up the stem are linear to narrowly oval in shape and smaller. The leaves have untoothed edges and are coated in fine to rough hairs, especially on the undersides.

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The inflorescence bears one or more flower heads. Each head has a center of long yellowish tubular disc florets and a fringe of bright yellow ray florets, each up to 4 centimeters long. The fruit is a hairless achene about 8 millimeters long. Grazing animals find the plant palatable, especially the flowers and developing seed heads

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It is a species of flowering plant in the sunflower tribe of the plant family Asteraceae known by the common name arrowleaf balsamroot.  It is drought tolerant.

Edible & Medicinal Uses:
Many Native American groups, including the Nez Perce, Kootenai, Cheyenne, and Salish, utilized the plant as a food and medicine.

Under the name Okanagan Sunflower, it is the official flower emblem of the city of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.

The root of the plant is sometimes used as an expectorant and mild immunostimulant.  Native Americans used the sticky sap as a topical antiseptic for minor wounds.  Medicinally, the Indians used the large coarse Balsamroot leaves as a poultice for burns. The roots were boiled and the solution was applied as a poultice for wounds, cuts and bruises. Indians also drank a tea from the roots for tuberculosis and whooping cough.  As an antibacterial the tincture may be applied to infections and hard to heal wounds. The tincture of the root and bark may be used internally or externally for bacterial problems. Perhaps the most common use for arrowleaf balsamroot is as an immune system enhancer. Use the tincture as you would Echinacea, taking 1 tsp. twice daily to strengthen the immune system.

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.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/range/RangeID/Plants/BalsSagi.html
http://www.swcoloradowildflowers.com/yellow%20enlarged%20photo%20pages/balsamorhiza.htm

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