Common Name: Fernleaf biscuitroot.
Lomatium dissectum is a perennial herb reaching up to 1.4 meters tall, growing from a thick taproot. The leaves are mostly attached near the base of the plant, spreading with petioles up to 30 centimeters long and large blades divided into many small, narrow segments. The inflorescence is an umbel of many small yellow or reddish flowers, each cluster on a ray up to 10 centimeters long. The fruits resemble pumpkin seeds.
Both Lomatium and Ligusticum were used by Native Americans and early American medical practitioners for a variety of chronic or severe infectious disease states, particularly those of viral origin. Modern research is rather limited, but clinical trials have supported the inclusion of these botanicals for viral infections including HIV and condyloma. Traditionally it’s demonstrated efficacy against a variety of bacterial infections including tuberculosis. Lomatium contains an oleoresin rich in terpenes. It acts as a stimulating expectorant, enhancing the liquification and consequent elimination of mucus from the lungs. It also appears to exert a strong antibacterial activity, interfering with bacterial replication and inducing increased phagocytosis. The resin also contains a number of furanocoumarins including nodakenetin, columbianin and pyranocoumarin. These resins may be responsible for the plant’s antiviral effect. They may also be partly responsible for the phagocytic action lomatium causes.
Based on empirical evidence and discussions with clinical herbalists, lomatium can be used as an antimicrobial, especially in the lungs and upper respiratory tract. It provides quick-acting relief in cases of viral or bacterial infection, particularly when there is a large amount of thick or sticky mucus and infection is deep-seated and persistent. Consider taking lomatium for pneumonia, infective bronchitis and tuberculosis.
As an immunostimulant, this herb is traditionally used to treat colds and flus. Many cases during the 1920s U.S. influenza epidemic were successfully treated with lomatium by the professional herbalists of the time, and it has been used for this purpose by Native Americans since the introduction of influenza to the Americas. Its infection-fighting ability makes lomatium valuable as a mouthwash and gargle for oral and throat infections, as a douche for bacterial and viral infections or candida, as a skin wash for infected cuts or wounds, and in many other first- aid situations. Both tea and tincture forms are commonly used. For acute bacterial or viral infections, 2.5 ml of the tincture diluted in water can be used three to four times daily. A painful, itchy full-body rash that can persist for days occurs frequently when the crude tincture is used. It seems to occur more commonly with the strong, fresh-root preparation and disappears when treatment stops.
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.
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