Botanical Name : Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium
Species: P. obtusifolium
Synonyms: Gnaphalium obtusifolium L.
Common Names: Old field balsam, Rabbit tobacco and Sweet everlasting.
Habitat: Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium is native to Eastern N. America – Ontario to Georgia and Alabama. It grows in the pine woods and clearings in dry open habitats.
Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium is a annual/biennial herb which grows up to one meter tall. In its first year, the plant produces tightly packed rosettes covered in wooly hair. In the second year, the plant produces a tall stem with alternate leaves and yellow peg-shaped flowerheads. These are borne in clusters. The seeds are dispersed by the wind. Its native habitats include dry clearings, fields, and edges of woods. It is in flower from September to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The leaves have a pleasant aromatic smell and an aromatic, slightly bitter, astringent agreeable taste.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.Requires a dry soil in an open sunny position. Plants are sometimes grown in the wild garden.
Through seed – sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer.
The whole plant is anaphrodisiac, antiphlogistic, astringent, diaphoretic, expectorant, vermifuge. It is used internally in the treatment of throat ulcers, chest complaints, intestinal and respiratory catarrh etc and is also applied externally as a poultice to bruises, indolent tumours etc. A tea made from the leaves and flowers is a mild nerve sedative, diuretic and antispasmodic. The fresh juice is considered to be aphrodisiac. It is anaphrodisiac according to another report. The aromatic dried flowers are used as a filling for pillows, having a sedative effect which is beneficial to consumptives. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant. This has proved to be of benefit in the treatment of sciatica, lumbago and some forms of arthritis.
The plant is used as an insect repellent, it is placed in bedmats, books etc. and in the linen cupboard. The flower heads are used as a stuffing material for mattresses.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.