Dentaria diphylla

Botanical Name : Cardamine diphylla
Family : Brassicaceae – Mustard family
Genus: Cardamine L. – bittercress
Species: Cardamine diphylla (Michx.) Alph. Wood – crinkleroot
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom:  Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division : Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Dilleniidae
Order : Capparales

Synonyms: Dentaria diphylla Michx., Dentaria incisa Small

Common Name : Broadleaf toothwort, Crinkle root, Crinkle-root, Crinkleroot, Pepper root, Twin-leaved Toothwort, Twoleaf toothwort, Toothwort

Habitat :Cardamine diphylla is  native to North America.Its habitat ranges from Georgia north to Ontario and from the Atlantic to Wisconsin.It is found in moist woodlands usually in  the  edge  rich damp woods and meadows.

Description:
Dentaria diphylla is a Perennial plant grows to a height of 30 cm.t is not frost tender. It  blooms from April to June. A member of the mustard family, it is typified by a four petal flower which blooms in a cluster on a single stalk above a single pair of toothed stem leaves each divided into three broad leaflets. After flowering, narrow seedpods appear just below the flower cluster. It grows approximately 30 cm (12 in) tall. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

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The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland).It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:An easily grown plant, preferring a rich light moist soil and a shady position. This species is hardy to about -20°c.

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Propagation
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 3 weeks at 15°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame for the first two years, planting them out when dormant in late summer. Division in early spring or after the plant dies down in the summer. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root.

Root – raw or cooked. It has a crisp texture and a pleasant pungent taste, rather like water cress or horseradish. It can be added to salads or used as a relish[105, 183]. The root has a pungent acrid taste when first harvested, the Indians cleaned the roots, heaped them on a blanket, covered them to exclude air and then left them to ferment for 4 – 5 days. After this the roots developed a sweet taste. Leaves – raw or cooked. The cooking water was changed once in order to remove the bitterness.

Medicinal Uses:

Cardiac;  Carminative;  Febrifuge;  Miscellany;  Odontalgic;  Stomachic.

The peppery root is used as a folk remedy in the treatment of toothache. It has also been chewed in the treatment of colds, an infusion drunk to treat gas and other stomach problems, and it has been made into a poultice for headaches. A tea made from the root is gargled in the treatment of sore throat, hoarseness etc. An infusion of the plant has been used to treat fevers in children. Combined with Acorus calamus root, it has been used in the treatment of heart diseases.

The root of this little plant is a diffusive and somewhat pungent stimulant, when dried; and also possesses a mild tonic power. Its principal influence is expended upon the nervous peripheries, and moderately upon the capillaries. It is of the antispasmodic class of nervines; and is useful in hysterical nervousness and spasms of the more acute form, painful and tardy menstruation, flatulent colic, and similar maladies requiring a diffusive stimulant. It warms the surface, and secures gentle perspiration. It is agreeable in taste, but its influence is rather transient. It has been claimed to have used it for many years with unvarying success in epilepsy. The best method of giving it is a tincture prepared by macerating four ounces of the roots in a quart of diluted alcohol, straining and pressing; of which two to three fluid drachms may be given every four or two hours.     The peppery root is used as a folk remedy in the treatment of toothache. It has also been chewed in the treatment of colds, an infusion drunk to treat gas and other stomach problems. A tea made from the root is gargled in the treatment of sore throat, hoarseness etc. An infusion of the plant has been used to treat fevers in children. Combined with Acorus calamus root, it has been used in the treatment of heart diseases. Toothwort tea can also be used to soothe and calm nerves and is a mild natural relaxant. The fresh juice can aid in digestion. The crushed root of Toothwort can be used externally as a plaster for aches, pains, and rheumatism.

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.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Dentaria+diphylla
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardamine_diphylla
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

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