Parietaria judaica

Botanical Name : Parietaria judaica
Family: Urticaceae
Genus: Parietaria
Species: Parietaria judaica
Order: Rosales
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida

Common Name :Sticky-weed.,Spreading pellitory,Basil-Leaved Parietaria

Habitat :Parietaria judaica  is native to the Mediterranean but has become widespread in coastal areas of the United Kingdom, Australia, and North America. Generally considered a weed, it is often found on roadsides and in cracks of buildings. However, it is useful in a habitat garden as it is a larval food plant for red admiral butterflies.

Description:
Perennial, pubescent to glabrescent, 10-50 cm tall, basally woody herb. Leaves with 0.3-2 cm long, filiform, hairy petiole; lamina lanceolate-ovate or ovate-elliptic, 1-3(4) cm long, 0.5-2.0 (-2.5) cm broad, subtruncate to cuneate or rarely subcordate at the base, apex acute, appressed pubescent to glabrescent. Cymose flower clusters compact, few to many-flowered, subsessile to sessile, solitary, axillary. Flowers greenish, mostly bisexual, c. 3 mm across; bracts ovate-lanceolate or elliptic, 2.5-3 mm long, enlarged in fruit, subconnate at the base, obtuse. Calyx c. 3 mm long, lobes inflexed. Achenes ovoid, 1.5-2 mm long, brown, shining.

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The plant has pink or red hairy stems, green leaves with smooth margins, and tiny white or pink flowers attached to the stems. The nickname sticky-weed is due to the adherent quality of the flowers and of the hairy stems; unlike some related nettles, the hairs do not sting.

Medicinal Uses:
Parietaria judaica has been valued for over 2,000 years for its diuretic action, as a soother of chronic coughs and as a balm for wounds and burns. In European herbal medicine it is regarded as having a restorative action on the kidneys, supporting and strengthening their function.  The whole herb, gathered when in flower is an efficacious remedy for kidney and bladder stones and other complaints of the urinary system such as cystitis and nephritis. It should not be prescribed to people with hay fever or other allergic conditions. The leaves can be usefully employed externally as a poultice on wounds etc. They have a soothing effect on simple burns and scalds.  A tea made from this plant will ease upset stomachs and make one feel better when one has a cold.  It also helps the liver and relieves fever.

Known Hazards:
The plant’s pollen is highly allergenic. In Australia it is also known as asthma weed, due to the high incidence of allergy. It is unrelated to the herb pellitory (Anacyclus pyrethrum). It is easily confused with the very similar species Parietaria officinalis

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.eol.org/pages/594607
http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Parietaria_judaica
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parietaria_judaica
http://www.calflora.org/cgi-bin/species_query.cgi?where-calrecnum=6066

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