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Botanical Name: Collinsonia Canadensis
Species: C. canadensis
Synonyms: Horseweed. Richweed. Richleaf. Knob-Root. Knobweed. Horsebalm. Hardback. Heal-all. Oxbalm. Knot-Root. Baume de Cheval. Guérit-tout.
Common Names; Canada Horsebalm, Richweed, Hardhack, Heal-All, Horseweed, Ox-Balm and Stone root
Habitat:Collinsonia Canadensis is native to eastern North America from Quebec south to Florida and as far west as Missouri, although it is mainly found east of the Mississippi River. It is endangered in Wisconsin. It grows in rich damp woods
Collinsonia canadensis is a perennial herb.The plant has a four-sided stem, from 1 to 4 feet in height, and bears large, greenish-yellow flowers. It grows in moist woods and flowers from July to September. The rhizome is brown-grey, about 4 inches long, knobby, and very hard. The whole plant has a strong, disagreeable odour and a pungent and spicy taste. The chief virtue of the plant is in the root, which should always be used fresh. The name is derived from its discoverer, Peter Collinson….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
It is in flower in August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
Prefers a sandy peat in a moist situation but it is easily grown in ordinary garden soils so long as they are not dry. Prefers dappled shade. The whole plant has a strong disagreeable odour and a pungent spicy taste. Another report says that the foliage is strongly aromatic, with a lemon scent.
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can also be sown in the spring, though it might be slower to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame. Plant them out in spring or early summer of their second year. Division in spring.
Parts Used: Whole plant, fresh root.
Constituents: In the root there is resin, starch, mucilage and wax. In the leaves, resin, tannin, wax and volatile oil. The alkaloid discovered in the root appears to be a magnesium salt.
Alterative; Antispasmodic; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Sedative; Tonic; Vasodilator; Vulnerary.
The whole plant, but especially the fresh root, is alterative, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, diuretic, sedative, tonic, vasodilator and vulnerary. A tea made from the roots is strongly diuretic, it is valuable in the treatment of all complaints of the urinary system and the rectum and is used in the treatment of piles, indigestion, diarrhoea, kidney complaints etc. It has proved of benefit in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, mucous colitis and varicose veins. The root is seldom used on its own but is contained in remedies with other herbs, especially Aphanes arvensis, Eupatorium purpureum and Hydrangea arborescens. The roots contain more than 13,000 parts per million of rosmarinic acid, the same anti-oxidant that is found in rosemary. The fresh leaves are strongly emetic. Some caution is advised, see notes above on toxicity. A poultice of the leaves or roots is applied to burns, bruises, sores, sprains etc
A decoction of the fresh root has been given in catarrh of the bladder, leucorrhcea, gravel and dropsy. It is largely used by American veterinary surgeons as a diuretic. It is valuable in all complaints of urinary organs and rectum, and is best combined with other drugs.
It can be used externally, especially the leaves, for poultices and fomentations, bruises, wounds, sores, cuts, etc., and also as a gargle, in the strength of 1 part of fluid extract to 3 of water.
Known Hazards : Minute doses of the fresh leaves can cause vomiting, though the root is well-tolerated by the body. Possible blood pressure elevation
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.