Ambrosia trifida

Botanical Name : Ambrosia trifida
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Heliantheae
Subtribe: Ambrosiinae
Genus: Ambrosia
Species: A. trifida
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names: Buffalo Weed, Great Ragweed, Giant Ragweed, Bitterweed, Bloodweed, Horse Cane, Tall Ambrosia

Habitat : Ambrosia trifida is  native throughout much of North America. ( Eastern N. America – Quebec to Florida, west to Manitoba, Colorado and Mexico.)  It grows on the alluvial waste places, sometimes forming vast pure stands.

Description:
Ambrosia trifida is an annual plant in the aster family, native throughout much of North America. Its flowers are green and are pollinated by wind rather than by insects, and the pollen is one of the main causes of late summer hay fever. Flowers are borne from midsummer through early fall.

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The plant is erect, growing to over 6 meters[2], though 2– 3 meters is more typical.

Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species but suggest growing it in a sunny position in a well-drained soil. This plant is sometimes cultivated by the N. American Indians for food and medicine. Special Features: North American native, Invasive, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – we have no details for this species but suggest sowing the seed in situ in April.

Edible Uses: ….Oil……This plant was cultivated by the pre-Columbian N. American Indians, seeds found in pre-historic sites are 4 – 5 times larger than those of the present-day wild plant, which seems to indicate selective breeding by the Indians. The following report is for A. artemesifolia, it quite possibly also applies to this species. An oil is obtained from the seed. It has been suggested for edible purposes because it contains little linolenic acid. The seed contains up to 19% oil, it has slightly better drying properties than soya bean oil.

Medicinal Uses:

The leaves are very astringent, emetic and febrifuge. They are applied externally to insect bites and various skin complaints, internally they are used as a tea in the treatment of pneumonia, fevers, nausea, intestinal cramps, diarrhoea and mucous discharges. The juice of wilted leaves is disinfectant and is applied to infected toes. A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of menstrual disorders and stroke. The pollen is harvested commercially and manufactured into pharmaceutical preparations for the treatment of allergies to the plant

A poultice of the crushed plant has been used to treat poison sumac symptoms. It has been used to treat gonorrhea, diarrhea, and other intestinal disturbances. In Mexico, it is believed to be useful for treating intestinal worms and reducing fever. The leaves are applied externally to insect bites and various skin complaints, internally they are used as a tea in the treatment of pneumonia, fevers, nausea, intestinal cramps, diarrhea and mucous discharges. The juice of wilted leaves is disinfectant and is applied to infected toes. A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of menstrual disorders and stroke. The pollen is harvested commercially and manufactured into pharmaceutical preparations for the treatment of allergies to the plant.

Other Uses:
Dye; Oil.

A red colour is obtained from the crushed heads. (This probably refers to the seed heads.) The sap of the plant can stain the skin red.

Known Hazards :  The pollen of this plant is a major cause of hayfever in N. America. Ingesting or touching the plant can cause allergic reactions in some people. 

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambrosia_trifida
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ambrosia+trifida

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  1. Pingback: Spring is in the Air and so is the Pollen

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