Herbs & Plants

Lomatium dissecta

Botanical Name : Lomatium dissecta
Family: Apiaceae
Tribe: Selineae
Genus: Lomatium
Species: L. dissectum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms: Leptotaenia dissecta, Leptotaenia foliosa var. dissecta

Common Name:Lomatium,Fernleaf Biscuitroot, Fernleaf Desert Parsley, Fern-leaf Desert Parsley, Fernleaf Lomatium

Habitat : Lomatium dissecta is native to much of western North America, where it grows in varied habitat. It is found in the eastern Transverse Ranges and the Sierra Nevada in California.Fern-leaf desert parsley may be found on open rocky talus slopes and in dry rocky meadows from the lowlands to moderate elevation in the mountains.

Lomatium dissectum is an attractive perennial wildflower with several ascending, glabrous stems arising 40-150 cm high from a large, fleshy to woody, carrot-shaped taproot. The large leaves are generally basal, with up to 2 leaves on the lower stems. The leaves are 15-30 cm long and ternate-pinnately dissected into small and narrow segments about 1 cm long.
The inflorescence is an umbel of 10-30 equal to subequal rays topped by small umbellets, the longest rays 4-10 cm long. The several bracts at the base of each umbellet are narrowly linear while the pedicels in fruit are 4-20 mm long. The flowers are yellow or dark purplish. The fruits are elliptic in shape, measuring 8-17 mm long and 4.5-10 mm wide with the lateral wings narrow and thickened but less than 2 mm wide. The fruits resemble pumpkin seeds


var. dissectum: Fruits sessile or nearly so. Leaves not so finely dissected, the segments broader, often 2-4 mm wide. Found westward from the eastern base of the Cascade Mts. from southern British Columbia south to northern California, and also in northern Idaho.

var. eatonii: Fruits borne on short stems 4-20 mm long. Leaves not so finely dissected, the segments broader, often 2-4 mm wide (See photo below.). Found from central and northeastern Oregon east to southern Idaho, southern Wyoming, and south to Utah, Arizona, Nevada and southern California.

var. multifidum: Fruits borne on short stems 4-20 mm long. Leaves finely dissected, the segments linear and 0.5-1.5 mm wide (See photo below.). Found from southern British Columbia and Alberta south to central Oregon, northern Wyoming, central Idaho, and northern Nevada.

Medicinal Uses:
A Lomatium dissectum root extract completely inhibited the cytopathic effects of rotavirus. It also showed antibiotic activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium avium

Both Lomatium and Ligusticum were used by Native Americans and early American medical practitioners for a variety of chronic or severe infectious disease states, particularly those of viral origin. Modern research is rather limited, but clinical trials have supported the inclusion of these botanicals for viral infections including HIV and condyloma.  Traditionally it’s demonstrated efficacy against a variety of bacterial infections including tuberculosis.
Lomatium contains an oleoresin rich in terpenes. It acts as a stimulating expectorant, enhancing the liquification and consequent elimination of mucus from the lungs. It also appears to exert a strong antibacterial activity, interfering with bacterial replication and inducing increased phagocytosis. The resin also contains a number of furanocoumarins including nodakenetin, columbianin and pyranocoumarin. These resins may be responsible for the plant’s antiviral effect. They may also be partly responsible for the phagocytic action lomatium causes               .
Based on empirical evidence and discussions with clinical herbalists, lomatium can be used as an antimicrobial, especially in the lungs and upper respiratory tract. It provides quick-acting relief in cases of viral or bacterial infection, particularly when there is a large amount of thick or sticky mucus and infection is deep-seated and persistent. Consider taking lomatium for pneumonia, infective bronchitis and tuberculosis
As an immunostimulant, this herb is traditionally used to treat colds and flus. Many cases during the 1920s U.S. influenza epidemic were successfully treated with lomatium by the professional herbalists of the time, and it has been used for this purpose by Native Americans since the introduction of influenza to the Americas                          .
Its infection-fighting ability makes lomatium valuable as a mouthwash and gargle for oral and throat infections, as a douche for bacterial and viral infections or candida, as a skin wash for infected cuts or wounds, and in many other first- aid situations                       .
Both tea and tincture forms are commonly used. For acute bacterial or viral infections, 2.5 ml of the tincture diluted in water can be used three to four times daily. A painful, itchy full-body rash that can persist for days occurs frequently when the crude tincture is used.  It seems to occur more commonly with the strong, fresh-root preparation and disappears when treatment stops

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.


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