Hardhack

Botanical Name : Spiraea tomentosa
Family: Rosaceae
Genus:     Spiraea
Species: S. tomentosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Rosales

Synonyms: Steeple Bush. White Cap. White Leaf. Silver Leaf.

Common Name: Steeplebush or hardhack

Habitat:Hardhack is native to Canada. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia to the mountains of Georgia westward. It  grows to up to four feet high, and prefers moist to wet soil and full sun.

Description:
Hardhack is a deciduous Shrub, it grows to up to four feet high, with leaves ovate, lanceolate, serrate, greenish-white and downy.. It blooms in summer.  The rose-coloured flowers are in panicles underneath.Individual Hardhack flowers are about 1/16 of an inch wide and are arranged in narrow, pyramid-shaped clusters that can be up to eight inches long.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. Butterflies and other nectar-feeding insects find the flowers highly attractive. The flowers are followed by small, dry, brown fruit. It has a dense white-woolly tomentum which covers its stem and the underside of its leaves. It is noted for its astringent properties, which cause it to be used medicinally.
click & see the pictures

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used: Leaves, root, flowers.
Constituents: The root is said to contain gallic and tannic acid, and, when freshly dug, some volatile oils.

The flowers give feebly the medicinal action of salicylic acid (aspirin) and are used in decoction for their diuretic and tonic effect. An infusion of the flowers is used as an astringent. An infusion of the leaves can be used in the treatment of dysentery. An infusion of the flowers and the leaves has been used to counteract the sickness of pregnancy and also to facilitate childbirth. The roots are astringent and have been used in the treatment of diarrhoea. An infusion of the leaves is also used.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/h/hardha02.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Spiraea+tomentosa
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiraea_tomentosa

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