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Artemisia absinthium

Botanical Name : Artemisia absinthium
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species: A. absinthium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Absinthium officinale Brot. Artemisia pendula Salisb.. Artemisia rhaetica Brügger
Common Names: Absinthium, Absinthe wormwood, Wormwood, Common wormwood, Green ginger or Grand wormwood
Habitat :Artemisia absinthium is native to temperate regions of Eurasia and Northern Africa and widely naturalized in Canada and the northern United States. It grows naturally on uncultivated, arid ground, on rocky slopes, and at the edge of footpaths and fields.

Description:
Artemisia absinthium is a herbaceous, perennial plant with fibrous roots. The stems are straight, growing to 0.8–1.2 metres (2 ft 7 in–3 ft 11 in) (rarely 1.5 m, but, sometimes even larger) tall, grooved, branched, and silvery-green. The leaves are spirally arranged, greenish-grey above and white below, covered with silky silvery-white trichomes, and bearing minute oil-producing glands; the basal leaves are up to 25 cm long, bipinnate to tripinnate with long petioles, with the cauline leaves (those on the stem) smaller, 5–10 cm long, less divided, and with short petioles; the uppermost leaves can be both simple and sessile (without a petiole). Its flowers are pale yellow, tubular, and clustered in spherical bent-down heads (capitula), which are in turn clustered in leafy and branched panicles. Flowering is from early summer to early autumn; pollination is anemophilous. The fruit is a small achene; seed dispersal is by gravity.

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Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Ground cover, Seashore. Succeeds in any soil but it is best in a poor dry one with a warm aspect. Established plants are very drought tolerant. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a sunny position. Prefers a shady situation according to another report. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.8 to 8.2. Wormwood is occasionally grown in the herb garden, there are some named forms. The growing plant is said to inhibit the growth of fennel, sage, caraway, anise and most young plants, especially in wet years. Wormwood is a good companion for carrots, however, helping to protect them from root fly. This herb was at one time the principal flavouring in the liqueur ‘Absinthe’ but its use has now been banned in most countries since prolonged consumption can lead to chronic poisoning, epileptiform convulsions and degeneration of the central nervous system. The scent of the plant attracts dogs. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Naturalizing, Suitable for dried flowers.
Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates within 2 – 26 weeks at 15°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. They can be planted out in the summer, or kept in pots in a cold frame for the winter and then planted out in the spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Division in spring or autumn.

Edible Uses :
Leaves are occasionally used as a flavouring. Caution is advised, prolonged use is known to have a detrimental effect – see the notes above on toxicity.

It is an ingredient in the spirit absinthe, and is used for flavouring in some other spirits and wines, including bitters, vermouth and pelinkovac. In the Middle Ages, it was used to spice mead, and in Morocco it is used as tea. In 18th century England, wormwood was sometimes used instead of hops in beer.

Medicinal Uses:

Anthelmintic; Antiseptic; Antispasmodic; Appetizer; Carminative; Cholagogue; Emmenagogue; Febrifuge; Homeopathy; Hypnotic; Stimulant;
Stomachic; Tonic; Vermifuge.

Wormwood is a very bitter plant with a long history of use as a medicinal herb. It is valued especially for its tonic effect on the liver, gallbladder and digestive system, and for its vermicidal activity. It is an extremely useful medicine for those with weak and under-active digestion. It increases stomach acid and bile production, improving digestion and the absorption of nutrients. It also eases wind and bloating and, if taken regularly, helps the body return to full vitality after a prolonged illness. The leaves and flowering shoots are anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitumor, carminative, cholagogue, emmenagogue, febrifuge, hypnotic, stimulant, stomachic, tonic and vermifuge. The plant is harvested as it is coming into flower and then dried for later use. Use with caution, the plant should be taken internally in small doses for short-term treatment only, preferably under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. It should not be prescribed for children or pregnant women. See also the notes above on toxicity. The extremely bitter leaves are chewed to stimulate the appetite. The bitter taste on the tongue sets off a reflex action, stimulating stomach and other digestive secretions. The leaves have been used with some success in the treatment of anorexia nervosa. The plant is applied externally to bruises and bites. A warm compress has been used to ease sprains and strained muscles. A homeopathic remedy is made from the leaves. It is used to stimulate bile and gastric juice production and to treat disorders of the liver and gall bladder.

Wormwood leaves primary use is to stimulate the gallbladder, help prevent, and release stones, and to adjust resulting digestive problems.  Clinical studies with volunteers proved that wormwood does effectively increase bile.  It expels roundworms and threadworms, probably due to is sesquiterpene lactones.  It is also a muscle relaxer that is occasionally added to liniments, especially for rheumatism.  Members of the Bedouin African tribe place the antiseptic leaves inside their nostrils as a decongestant and drink it for coughs.  Wormwood is an extremely useful medicine for those with weak and underactive digestions.  It increases stomach acid and bile production and therefore improves digestion and the absorption of nutrients, making it helpful for many conditions including anemia.  It also eases gas and bloating, and if the tincture is taken regularly, it slowly strengthens the digestion and helps the body return to full vitality after a prolonged illness.

Other Uses:
Repellent; Strewing.
The fresh or dried shoots are said to repel insects and mice, they have been laid amongst clothing to repel moths and have also been used as a strewing herb. An infusion of the plant is said to discourage slugs and insects. The plant contains substances called sesquiterpene lactones, these are strongly insecticidal.

Known Hazards: Artemisia absinthium contains thujone, a GABAA receptor antagonist that can cause epileptic-like convulsions and kidney failure when ingested in large amounts. Even small quantities have been known to cause nervous disorders, convulsions, insomnia etc. Just the scent of the plant has been known to cause headaches and nervousness in some people. The plant contains thujone. In small quantities this acts as a brain stimulant but is toxic in excess. Avoid if prone to seizures. Avoid during pregnancy & breast feeding. Absinthism adverse effects include hallucinations, insomnia, loss of intellect, psychosis, tremor & seizures.

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.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_absinthium
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+absinthium

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

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Osmunda japonica

 

Bmily:otanical Name : Osmunda japonica
Family:  Osmundaceae
Genus: Osmunda
Section:Euosmunda
Species:O. japonica
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida /Pteridopsida (disputed)
Order: Osmundales

Synonyms: Osmunda nipponica Makino

Common Name : Japanese royal fern or Japanese flowering fern ,Zenmai (In some parts of China it is called juecai in Mandarin), Tibet and Japan it is called zenmai in Japanese.

Habitat :Osmunda japonica is native to E. Asia – China, Japan. It grows in moist places all over Japan.

Description:
Osmunda japonica is a deciduous herbaceous plant which produces separate fertile and sterile fronds. The sterile fronds are spreading, up to 80-100 cm tall, bipinnate, with pinnae 20-30 cm long and pinnules 4-6 cm long and 1.5-2 cm broad; the fertile fronds are erect and shorter, 20-50 cm tall.

It grows in moist woodlands and can tolerate open sunlight only if in very wet soil. Like other ferns, it has no flowers, but rather elaborate sporangia, that very superficially might suggest a flower, from which the alternative name derives.

Like its relative Osmundastrum cinnamomeum (Cinnamon fern), the fertile fronds become brown-colored and contain spores. The sterile (vegetative) fronds resemble in form, another relative, Osmunda regalis (Royal fern).

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Rhizome: erect, massive, forming a trunk, occasionally branching, hairs and old stipe bases woven together with black, fibrous roots.

Frond: 50 cm high by 40 cm wide, deciduous, dimorphic, fertile fronds earlier, erect, sterile later, arching, blade/stipe ratio: 5:4 for sterile fronds, 1:1 for fertile fronds.

Stipe: stipules (flared leaf base), unique to the family/genus, pale reddish brown, long lax hairs, but soon glabrous, vascular bundles: 1 in a U-shape where the top of the arms continue to curl.

Blade: 2-pinnate, sterile oblong, widest at the bottom, fertile consisting entirely of sporagia, papery, reddish to light brown hairs, soon falling.

Pinnae: 4 to 6 pair, catadromous; pinnules oblong, to 10 cm; margins minutely dentate; veins free, forked.

Sori: none, indusium: absent, sporangia: large, globose, tan or black when mature, spores green.
Cultivation:
Likes a soil of swamp mud and loamy or fibrous peat, sand and loam. Succeeds in most moist soils, preferring acid conditions. Requires a constant supply of water, doing well by ponds, streams etc. Plants thrive in full sun so long as there is no shortage of moisture in the soil and also in shady situations beneath shrubs etc. Plants are hardy to at least -20°c, they are evergreen in warm winter areas but deciduous elsewhere. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Closely related to O. regalis.

Propagation :
Spores – they very quickly lose their viability (within 3 days) and are best sown as soon as they are ripe on the surface of a humus-rich sterilized soil in a lightly shaded place in a greenhouse. Keep the compost moist, preferably by putting a plastic bag over the pot. Plants develop very rapidly, pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and keep humid until they are well established. Do not plant outside until the ferns are at least 2 years old. Cultivars usually come true to type[200]. Division of the rootstock in the dormant season. This is a very strenuous exercise due to the mass of wiry roots

Edible Uses: the young frond of Osmunda japonica is used as a vegetable.

Medicinal  Uses: Not yet known.

Known Hazards: Although no reports of toxicity is yet found for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable. Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase.
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.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osmunda_japonica
http://hardyfernlibrary.com/ferns/listSpecies.cfm?Auto=117
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Osmunda+japonica

Carya myristiciformis (Nutmeg Hickory)

Botanical Name : Carya myristiciformis
Family: Juglandaceae
Genus: Carya
Species: C. myristiciformis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales

Common Name : Nutmeg Hickory (No racial varieties or hybrids have been reported for nutmeg hickory.), Swamp hickory or Bitter water hickory

Habitat: Carya myristiciformis is native to Southern United States and in northern Mexico. It grows on rich moist soils of higher bottom lands and stream banks.

Description:
Carya myristiciformis is a deciduous medium-sized tree with a tall, straight trunk and stout, slightly spreading branches that form a narrow and rather open crown. It can attain heights of 24 to 30 in (80 to 100 ft) and a diameter of 61 cm (24 in). Although the pecan hickories (which include nutmeg hickory) grow more rapidly than the true hickories, specific information on the growth rate of nutmeg hickory is lacking. The pecan hickories, in turn, grow more slowly than most other bottom-land hardwoods. The average 10-year diameter increase for hickories in natural, unmanaged stands in the northeast Louisiana delta was 4.3 cm (1.7 in) in the 15- to 30-cm (6- to 12-in) diameter class; 3.3 cm (1.3 in) in the 33- to 48-cm (13- to 19-in) diameter class; and 3.8 cm (1.5 in) in the 51- to 71-cm (20- to 28-in) diameter class.

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It is in leaf 10-Jun It is in flower from Apr to May. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.The plant is self-fertile.

Cultivation :
Prefers a deep moisture-retentive loam in a sunny sheltered position, requiring a good summer for best development. Slow growing. Trees are said to only be hardy to zone 9, but there is a good specimen growing outdoors at Kew which is in zone 7. Most species in this genus have quite a wide range of distribution and, in order to find trees more suited to this country, seed from the most appropriate provenances should be sought. Most trees growing in Britain at present tend to only produce good seed after hot summers. Trees are self-fertile but larger crops of better quality seeds are produced if cross-pollination takes place. Large seed crops are produced every 2 – 3 years in the wild. Plants are strongly tap-rooted and should be planted in their permanent positions as soon as possible. Sowing in situ would be the best method so long as the seed could be protected from mice. Trees are late coming into leaf (usually late May to June) and lose their leaves early in the autumn (usually in October). During this time they cast a heavy shade. These factors combine to make the trees eminently suitable for a mixed woodland planting with shrubs and other trees beneath them. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – requires a period of cold stratification. It is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Stored seed should be kept moist (but not wet) prior to sowing and should be sown in a cold frame as soon as possible. Where possible, sow 1 or 2 seeds only in each deep pot and thin to the best seedling. If you need to transplant the seedlings, then do this as soon as they are large enough to handle, once more using deep pots to accommodate the tap root. Put the plants into their permanent positions as soon as possible, preferably in their first summer, and give them some protection from the cold for at least the first winter. Seed can also be sown in situ so long as protection is given from mice etc and the seed is given some protection from cold (a plastic bottle with the top and bottom removed and a wire mesh top fitted to keep the mice out
Edible Uses: .….Seed – raw or cooked. Sweet, but with a thick shell. The seed is up to 3cm in diameter. The seed ripens in late autumn and, when stored in its shell in a cool place, will keep for at least 6 months.

Medicinal Uses: No known medicinal uses are found in the internet
Other Uses: …..Fuel; Wood…….Wood – hard, very strong, tough, close grained. A good fuel, burning well with a lot of heat.

The nuts of nutmeg hickory are relished by squirrels, which begin cutting them while they are still green. Other rodents and wildlife also eat the nuts. The species is too rare over most of its range to be of major economic importance. The wood of this pecan hickory is slightly inferior in strength and toughness to that of the true or upland hickories, but owing to the small volumes involved and difficulty of distinguishing it from the true hickories, nutmeg hickory is not separated from them during logging.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carya_myristiciformis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Carya+myristiciformis

Commiphora Opobalsamum

Botanical Name: Commiphora Opobalsamum
Family:    Burseraceae
Genus:    Commiphora
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Sapindales

Synonyms: Balsamum Meccae var. Judiacum. Balsamum Gileadense. Baume de la Mecque. Balsamodendrum Opobalsamum. Balessan. Bechan. Balsam Tree. Amyris Gileadensis. Amyris Opobalsamum. Balsumodendron Gileadensis. Protium Gileadense. Dossémo.

Part Used: The resinous juice.

Habitat:Commiphora Opobalsamum is native to  countries on both sides of the Red Sea.

Description:
Commiphora Opobalsamum is a small tree, the source of the genuine Balm of Gilead around which so many mystical associations have gathered stands from 10 to 12 feet high, with wandlike, spreading branches. The bark is of a rich brown colour, the leaves, trifoliate, are small and scanty, the flowers unisexual small, and reddish in colour, while the seeds are solitary, yellow, and grooved down one side. It is both rare, and difficult to rear, and is so much valued by the Turks that its importation is prohibited. They have grown the trees in guarded gardens at Matarie, near Cairo, from the days of Prosper Alpin, who wrote the Dialogue of Balm, and the balsam is valued as a cosmetic by the royal ladies. In the Bible, and in the works of Bruce Theophrastes, Galen, and Dioscorides, it is lauded.

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Leaves in Commiphora are pinnately compound (or very rarely unifoliolate). Many species are armed with spines. Bark is often exfoliating, peeling in thin sheets to reveal colorful, sometimes photosynthetic bark, below. Stems are frequently succulent, especially in species native to drier environments. Flowers are subdioecious and fruits are drupes, usually with a 2-locular ovary (one is abortive). In response to wounding, the stems of many species will exude aromatic resins

The wood is found in small pieces, several kinds being known commercially, but it rapidly loses its odour. The fruit is reddish grey, and the size of a small pea, with an agreeable and aromatic taste. In Europe and America it is so seldom found in a pure state that its use is entirely discontinued .

Constituents:  The liquid balm is turbid whitish, thick, grey and odorous, and becomes solid by exposure. It contains a resin soluble in alcohol, and a principle resembling Bassorin.

Medicinal  Uses:  It has been used in diseases of the urinary tracts, but is said to possess no medicinal properties not found in other balsams.

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.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commiphora
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/balofg05.html

Polygonum bistorta

Botanical Name :Polygonum bistorta or Persicaria bistorta
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Persicaria
Species: P. bistorta
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales
Synonyms: Persicaria bistorta (L.) Samp., Polygonum ampliusculum Gand., Polygonum bistorta L., Polygonum bourdinii Gand., Polygonum carthusianorum Gand., Polygonum ellipticum Willd. ex Spreng., Polygonum pilatense Gand.

Common Name : Bistort or Common Bistort,  Meadow bistort, Snakeweed

Numerous other vernacular names have been recorded for the species in historical texts, though none is used to any extent. Many of the following refer to the plant’s use in making puddings: Adderwort, Dragonwort, Easter giant, Easter ledger, Easter ledges, Easter magiant, Easter man-giant, Gentle dock, Great bistort, Osterick, Oysterloit, Passion dock, Patience dock (this name is also used for Rumex patientia), Patient dock, Pink pokers, Pudding grass, Pudding dock, Red legs, Snakeweed, Twice-writhen, Water ledges.

Habitat :     Polygonum bistorta is native to northern and central Europe, including Britain, mountains of S. Europe, western and central Asia. It grows in damp meadows and by water, especially on acid soils.

Description:
Polygonum bistorta is a perennial plant, growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a fast rate.   It  blooms  late spring into mid summer, producing tall stems ending in single terminal racemes that are club-like spikes of pink-rose colored flowers.  The seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.  The racemes are about 2 cm thick and 5-9 cm long and end 1 meter tall,upright growing stems. Plants grow in moist soils and under dry conditions go dormant, losing their foliage until adequate moisture exists again. This species is grown as an ornamental garden plant, especially the form ‘Superba’ which has larger, more showy flowers. Typically alpine plants growing from short, thick rhizomes that branch. The foliage is normally basal with a few smaller leaves produced near the lower end of the flowering stems. The leaves are oblong-ovate or triangular-ovate in shape and narrow at the base. The petioles are broadly winged.

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The Latin name “bistorta” refers to the twisted appearance of the root. In Northern England the plant was used to make a bitter pudding in Lent from a combination of the plant’s leaves, oatmeal, egg and other herbs. It is the principal ingredient of dock pudding or Easter-Ledge Pudding.  The root of Bistort can be used to produce an astringent that was used in medicine.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses: Container, Ground cover. Succeeds in an ordinary garden soil[1] but prefers a moisture retentive not too fertile soil in sun or part shade. The plant repays generous treatment. A very cold-hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to at least -25°c. Bistort was formerly cultivated as a medicinal and edible plant, though it has now fallen into virtual disuse. Plants are somewhat spreading, forming quite extensive colonies especially in low-lying pastures. They seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Edible, Not North American native, Invasive, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually free and easy. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer if they have reached sufficient size. If not, overwinter them in a cold frame and plant them out the following spring after the last expected frosts. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Edible Uses::…Edible Parts: Leaves; Root; Seed.
Leaves – raw or cooked. One report says that they are rather bitter[5], but we have found them to have a fairly mild flavour, especially when the leaves are young, though the texture is somewhat chewy when they are eaten raw. They make an excellent substitute for spinach. In Northern England the leaves are an ingredient of a bitter Lenten pudding, called Easter ledger pudding, that is eaten at Lent. The leaves are available from late winter in most years and can be eaten until the early autumn though they become much tougher as the season progresses. The leaves are a good source of vitamins A and C, a nutritional analysis is available. Seed – raw or cooked. The seed is very small and rather fiddly to utilize. Root – raw or cooked. Rich in starch and tannin, it is steeped in water and then roasted in order to reduce the tannin content. It is then said to be a tasty and nutritious food. The root has also been boiled or used in soups and stews and can be dried then ground into a powder and used in making bread. The root contains 30% starch, 1% calcium oxalate and 15 – 36% tannin.
Composition:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Fresh weight)

*0 Calories per 100g
* Water : 82.6%
*Protein: 3g; Fat: 0.8g; Carbohydrate: 7.9g; Fibre: 3.2g; Ash: 2.4g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Medicinal Uses:

Bistort is one of the most strongly astringent of all herbs and it is used to contract tissues and staunch blood flow. The root is powerfully astringent, demulcent, diuretic, febrifuge, laxative and strongly styptic. It is gathered in early spring when the leaves are just beginning to shoot, and then dried. It is much used, both internally and externally, in the treatment of internal and external bleeding, diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera etc. It is also taken internally in the treatment of a wide range of complaints including catarrh, cystitis, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis and excessive menstruation. Externally, it makes a good wash for small burns and wounds, and is used to treat pharyngitis, stomatitis, vaginal discharge, anal fissure etc. A mouth wash or gargle is used to treat spongy gums, mouth ulcers and sore throats. The leaves are astringent and have a great reputation in the treatment of wounds. In Chinese medicine the rhizome is used for: epilepsy, fever, tetanus, carbuncles, snake and mosquito bites, scrofula and cramps in hands and feet . Considered useful in diabetes.

Roots and leaves were used to counteract poisons and to treat malaria and intermittent fevers. Dried and powdered it was applied to cuts and wounds to staunch bleeding, and a decoction in wine was taken for internal bleeding and diarrhea (especially in babies). It was also given to cause sweating and drive out the plague, smallpox, measles and other infectious diseases. Bistort is rich in tannins and one of the best astringents. Taken internally, it is excellent for bleeding, such as from nosebleeds, heavy periods and wounds, and for diarrhea and dysentery. Since it reduces inflammation and mucous secretions it makes a good remedy for colitis and for catarrhal congestion. It was originally recommended in 1917 as a treatment for debility with a tendency towards tuberculosis. It has also been used externally for pharyngitis, stomatitis, vaginal discharge, anal fissure, purulent wounds, hemorrhoids, mouth ulcers and gum disease. Comes well with Geranium maculatum.

Other Uses:......Tannin.……The roots contain up to 21% tannin

Known Hazards:   Although no specific mention has been made for this species, there have been reports that some members of this genus can cause photosensitivity in susceptible people. Many species also contain oxalic acid (the distinctive lemony flavour of sorrel) – whilst not toxic this substance can bind up other minerals making them unavailable to the body and leading to mineral deficiency. Having said that, a number of common foods such as sorrel and rhubarb contain oxalic acid and the leaves of most members of this genus are nutritious and beneficial to eat in moderate quantities. Cooking the leaves will reduce their content of oxalic acid. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persicaria_bistorta
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Polygonum+bistorta

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