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Botanical Name : Artemisia tridentate
Species: A. tridentata
Common Name: Sage Brush, Big sagebrush, Bonneville big sagebrush, Basin big sagebrush, Mountain big sagebrush
Habitat :Artemisia tridentate is native to western N. America – British Columbia to California and Mexico, east to Nebraska. It grows on dry plains and hills on calcareous soils. Found on slightly acid and on alkaline soils.
Artemisia tridentata is an evergreen Shrub growing to 2.5 m (8ft 2in). It is frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in October, and the seeds ripen from Oct to November. It may have a short trunk or be branched from the base. Small, velvety, silvery leaves have a sweet, pungent aroma and, en masse, give a bluish-gray effect. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.
Requires a sunny position and a well-drained soil that is not too rich. Requires a lime-free soil. There are a number of sub-species growing in different habitats from deep fertile soils to poor shallow ones. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Established plants are very drought tolerant. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun. The plant is very aromatic, especially after rain. The pollen of this species is one of the main causes of hayfever in N. America. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse in a very free-draining soil, but making sure that the compost does not dry out. The sub-species A. tridentata vaseyana germinates better if given a cool stratification for 30 – 50 days. Other sub-species germinate in 1 – 2 weeks in a warm greenhouse. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting them out in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Very slow to root Division in spring or autumn. Layering
Leaves are cooked and eaten. The subspecies A. tridentata vaseyana has a pleasant mint-like aroma whilst some other subspecies are very bitter and pungent. The leaves are used as a condiment and to make a tea. Seeds are eaten raw or cooked. Oily. It can be roasted then ground into a powder and mixed with water or eaten raw. The seed is very small and fiddly to use.
Sage brush was widely employed by many native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a wide range of disorders. It is little used in modern herbalism, though it certainly merits further investigation. The plant is antirheumatic, antiseptic, digestive, disinfectant, febrifuge, ophthalmic, poultice and sedative. A decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of digestive disorders and sore throats. An infusion of the fresh or dried leaves is used to treat pneumonia, bad colds with coughing and bronchitis. It is used both internally and externally in the treatment of rheumatism. The crushed plant is used as a liniment on cuts, sores etc whilst a decoction of the leaves is used as an antiseptic wash for cuts, wounds and sores. A poultice of the steeped leaves is applied to sore eyes. The plant is burnt in the house in order to disinfect it.
A tea made of the leaves has been used to treat headache, stomachache, vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, and as an antidote for poisoning. Some Indians chewed the leaves to ease stomach gas. A wash made of boiled and steeped leaves was used for treating bullet wounds and cuts, to bathe newborn babies, and as a hot poultice in treating rheumatism. A poultice was also placed on the stomach to induce menstruation, to relieve colic and treat worms. The leaves are boiled in water and the steam inhaled as a decongestant. Warm leaves may be applied to the neck to help a sore throat. The leaves are pungent and have been preferred for making medicine among other sagebrushes.
Basketry; Disinfectant; Dye; Fibre; Friction sticks; Fuel; Hair; Miscellany; Paper; Repellent; Stuffing; Tinder.
An infusion of the leaves is used as a hair rinse, it treats dandruff and falling hair. An infusion of the plant repels insects, it is also disinfectant and so is used for washing walls, floors etc. A yellow to gold dye is obtained from the leaves, buds and stems combined. The fibrous bark is used for weaving mats, baskets, cloth etc., or as a stuffing material in pillows etc and as an insulation in shoes to keep the feet warm. A fibre obtained from the inner bark is used for making paper. The fibres are about 1.3mm long. The stems are harvested in late summer, the leaves removed and the stems steamed until the fibre can be stripped off. The fibre is then cooked for two hours with lye before being ball milled for 4 hours. The resulting paper is a light tan/gold colour. A bunch of the leafy stems can be tied together and used as a broom. The shredded bark is a fine tinder for starting fires. The stems make good friction sticks for making fires. The seeds are used during celebrations because, when thrown into a fire, they explode like crackers. Wood – hard, dense. It burns rapidly and well, even when green, and has a pleasant aromatic smell
Known Hazards : Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people
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.
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