Synonyms: Senecio hieracifolius (Linn.).
Habitat:Erechtites hieracifolia is native to Newfoundland and Canada, southward to South America. It grows freely in moist open woods and clearings
Erechtites hieracifolia is an annual herbaceous plant with alternate, simple leaves, on thick, green stems. The leaves are serrated, and range from unlobed to deeply lobed, with the lobe pattern superficially resembling wild lettuces, which are in the same family but not more closely related.It has composite flowers, blooming from July to September. The flowers are yellow. The flowers are followed by cluster of small, wispy seeds. The plant often branches and grows in a clump with multiple stems.
Lactuca Canadensis, the wild Lettuce or Trumpet Weed, and Hieracium Canadense, are also given the designation of ‘Fireweed’ in America from their habit of growing on newly-burnt fallow, but Erechtites hieracifolia (Rafin.) may be called the true Fireweed, as it is the plant which commonly goes by that name.
Parts Used: Herb, oil
Constituents: A peculiar volatile oil – oil of Erechtites – transparent and yellow, obtained by distilling the plant with water, taste bitter and burning, odour foetid, slightly aromatic, somewhat resembling oil of Erigeron, but not soluble as that is in an equal volume of alcohol. The specific gravity of the oil is variously given as 0.927 and 0.838-0.855, and its rotation 1 to 2. According to Bielstein and Wiegand, it consists almost wholly of terpenes boiling between 175 and 310 degrees F.
Uses: Astringent, alterative, tonic, cathartic, emetic. Much used among the aborigines of North America in various forms of eczema, muco-sanguineous diarrhoea, and haemorrhages, also for relaxed throat and sore throat, and in the United States Eclectic Dispensatory in the form of oil and as an infusion, both herb and oil being beneficial for piles and dysentery. For its anti-spasmodic properties, it has been found useful for colic, spasms and hiccough. Applied externally, it gives great relief in the pains of gout, rheumatism and sciatica.
Homeopathy : The homoeopathic tincture is made from the whole fresh flowering plant. It is chopped, pounded to a pulp and weighed. Then two parts by weight of alcohol are taken, the pulp mixed thoroughly with one-sixth part of it and the rest of the alcohol added. After having stirred the whole, it is poured into a well-stoppered bottle and allowed to stand for eight days in a dark, cool place.
The resulting tincture has a clear, beautiful, reddish-orange colour by transmitted light; a sourish odour, resembling that of claret, a taste at first sourish, then astringent and bitter, and an acid reaction.
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.