Gratiola officinalis

Botanical Name : Gratiola officinalis
Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Gratiola
Species: G. officinalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Name :Hedge hyssop,common hedgehyssop or Herb of Grace

Habitat: Gratiola officinalis is native to Central and southern Europe. It grows on Wet grassland, fens, river banks, ditches etc

Description:
Gratiola officinalis is a  perennial plant. The square stem rises from a creeping, scaly rhizome to the height of 6 to 12 inches, and has opposite stalkless, lanceshaped, finely serrate, smooth, pale-green leaves, and whitish, or reddish flowers, placed singly in the axils of the upper pairs of leaves, the corollas two-lipped, with yellow hairs in the tube.
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The plant is inodorous, but has a bitter, nauseous, somewhat acrid taste, which earns it the name of Hedge Hyssop.
It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower from June to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist or wet soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a rich moist alkaline soil in full sun. Succeeds in pond margins.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring[1]. 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.

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Medicinal Uses:

Parts Used: Root, herb.

Constituents: Its active constituent is the bitter crystalline glucoside Gratiolin and a reddish, amorphous, bitter principle, Gratiosolin, likewise a glucoside.
Cardiac; Diuretic; Homeopathy; Purgative; Vermifuge.

Gratiola officinalis was once widely used as a medicinal herb but it is now considered to be obsolete because of its toxicity. The root and the flowering herb are cardiac, diuretic, violently purgative and vermifuge. The plant has been used in the treatment of liver problems, enlargement of the spleen, dropsy, jaundice, intestinal worms etc. The plant is harvested whilst in flower in the summer and dried for later use. Use with caution, in excess the plant causes abortion, kidney damage and bowel haemorrhage. See also the notes above on toxicity. A homeopathic remedy is made from the flowering plant. It is used in the treatment of cystitis, colic and certain stomach disorders

Known Hazards: All parts of the plant are poisonous.

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/hyshed49.html
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Gratiola+officinalis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gratiola_officinalis

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