Glehnia littoralis

Botanical Name :Glehnia littoralis
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Glehnia
Species: G. littoralis
Order: Apiales
Kingdom : Plantae
Subkingdom : Tracheobionta
Superdivision : Spermatophyta
Division : Magnoliophyta
Class : Magnoliopsida
Subclass : Rosidae

Common Name :Beach silvertop, American silvertop, Bei Sha Shen,Shan hu cai (in Chinese) and Peter von Glehn (in Russian)

Habitat :It is native to eastern Asia, particularly eastern China, Japan, and far-eastern Russia, and western North America from Alaska to northern California.

Description:
It is a long-taprooted plant forming a basal patch of leaves, with each leaf made up of several rounded, lobular segments. It reaches a maximum height exceeding half a meter and its erect stem is topped with an umbel of carrotlike white flowers.

click & see the pictures

Named after Peter von Glehn, a Russian botanist (this plant also grows in Asia), this spreading perennial is confined to beaches and coastal dunes. Its small white flowers are arranged in compact umbels. Its pinnately compound leaves have fleshy leaflets with distinct veins, some with lobes. Its fruits (seen in the pictures) are borne in clusters, each with wing-like ribs. It has a long taproot. Look for it in the dunes of Netarts Spit.

Medicinal uses:
This supplement is used in traditional Chinese medicine as an expectorant and to treat bronchitis and whooping cough. Its mechanism of action is unknown, but animal models reveal analgesic properties. It is reported that glehnia root can hemolyze blood cells, stimulate myocardial contractility, and exert antibacterial effects. Various extracts from glehnia root display analgesic effects in a mouse study utilizing acetic acid-induced writhing tests. Concentrations of 10-50 mg/kg polyacetylene and 80-100 mg/kg coumarin fractions are necessary to elicit analgesia. The roots improve functioning of the liver and kidneys; treat lung diseases, coughs including hacking cough, fever, chest pain.  It is especially effective in treating joint pain and muscle pain, both of acute injuries and in chronic conditions like rheumatoid or osteo arthritis. It can be topically applied and taken internally.   In Japan, Hamaboufuu is an important plant in traditional folk medicine. One ancient use is as an annual tonic. On the day of the Japanese New Year, Japanese people drink a medicinal alcoholic beverage called Toso. The drink contains several medicinal herbs of which Hamaboufuu is one. Drinking it on the New Year’s day is said to insure health in the coming year. It is registered in the Japanese Herbal Medicines Codex.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glehnia_littoralis
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=GLLI
http://www.netartsbaytoday.org/html/white_flowers.html

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