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Synonyms: Brickellia grandiflora (Hook.) Nutt.
Prodigiosa grows in canyons, along roadsides, and in sandy washes across the Southwestern United States. It ranges up to the East Cascades in Washington and Oregon down to the Valley of Mexico and as east as Arkansas (Davidow 1999). It grows between 4,500 to 10,000 feet in elevation. Commonly found in piñon-juniper to tall pine, spruce, and fir forests of higher elevations. The plant grows slowly until rain in late July and August when its growth speeds up and doubles sometimes tripling its original size (McDonald, 2002). In late August it flowers and then seeds. Because it likes to grow in sandy washes the seeds are more likely to fall into running water from the monsoons and be carried down stream to grow. In New Mexico it grows through out the lower canyons of the Jemez, Guadalupe Mountains, Sangre de Cristo, and in the Gila and Lincoln National Forests (Moore, 1989).
Locations of Brickellia grandiflora across the United States and New Mexico.
This is an upright perennial herb growing a few-branched stem up to 70 centimeters tall. The hairy, glandular leaves are up to 12 centimeters long and lance-shaped, triangular, or heart-shaped. The inflorescences at the tip of the slender stem holds clusters of nodding flower heads, each just over a centimeter long and lined with greenish phyllaries with curling tips. The bell-shaped flower head holds a spreading array of 20 to 40 disc florets. The fruit is a hairy cylindrical achene about 4 millimeters long with a pappus of bristles.
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It assists in lowering high blood sugar levels in type II diabetics who are insulin-resistant. In addition, it helps improve the stomach lining and digestion because it increases not only the quality, but the quantity of hydrochloric acid that secretes in the stomach. This is important because foods that take a long time to digest often cause acid indigestion. The brickellia plant also helps to stimulate fat digestion in the gallbladder by evacuating bile from the gallbladder and bile synthesis in the liver. A medium-strong cup of tea is taken in mid-afternoon and mid-morning. Diet control and little or no alcohol intake supplement this treatment. Sometimes Maturique is used to start the treatment, followed by maintenance on bricklebush. A patent medicine herb tea called Hamula is made in Mexico and widely used in the Southwest, but its main herb is bricklebush. In Mexico it has been known to be used in baths for acute arthritis. It can also be helpful to treat diarrhea and other digestive problems. It may also have the potential to prevent or help cataracts in certain cases.
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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