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Herbs & Plants

Dwarf Red Rattle

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Botanical Name :Pedicularis sylvatica
Family:Orobanchaceae
Genus: Pedicularis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Species: sylvatica

Synonyms: Red Rattle Grass. Lousewort. Lesser Red Rattle.

Cmmon Names : Dwarf Red Rattle,Lousewort

Habitat : This plant is native to Europe, but has been introcuded in eastern newfoundland. As far as I know, this is the only North American site for this species!
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings.

Description:
There are two Red Rattles, but the commoner and medicinal one is the Dwarf or Lesser Red Rattle, frequent in moist pastures and on swampy heaths. It is quite a small plant, generally nestling rather closely to the ground, the short root-stock sending up many prostrate and spreading, leafy sterns, 3 to 10 inches long, branching a good deal at the base and rarely more than 3 or 4 inches high when in flower. The leaves are very deeply cut into numerous segments. The flowers are in terminal, loose spikes, the calyx smooth on the outside, but woolly inside at the mouth, broadly inflated and marked over with a fine network of veins, and at the top, cut into five unequal, leaf-like lobes. The lower portion of the corolla forms a tube hidden within the calyx, but then emerging projects boldly beyond it; it is labiate in form, like the Eyebright, the upper lip tall and dome-like, but compressed at the sides, the lower lip flatly expanded and cut into three very distinct lobes. Both are of a bright rose colour and the whole flower is very striking and quaint. As the seeds ripen, they may be heard rattling in their capsule within the inflated calyx, hence the popular name Red Rattle.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Another name for the plant is ‘Lousewort,’ from a belief that sheep eating it became diseased and covered with parasites, but when sheep do suffer in this manner after eating this plant, it is really because the presence of it in a pasture indicates a very bad and unsuitable pasture, since marshy land, the best suited to its growth, is the worst from the health point of view for the sheep. The generic name, Pedicularis (from the Latin pediculus = a louse), refers also to the supposititious vermin-producing qualities of the plant.

Medicinal Uses:
The Red Rattle is accounted profitable to heal fistulas and hollow ulcers and to stay the flux of humours in them as also the abundance of the courses or any other flux of blood, being boiled in port wine and drunk.’

Other Uses:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

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://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/r/ratred06.html
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/93812/

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Herbs & Plants

Pedicularis resupinata

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Botanical Name : Pedicularis resupinata
Family: Orobanchaceae/Scrophulariaceae
Genus: Pedicularis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Name:Lousewort

Habitat :Native to Europe to E. Asia. Grows in meadows and hills in mountains all over Japan. Open woods in E. Europe

Description:
Pedicularis resupinata is a perennial plant grows up  to 1m.
You may click to see more pictures:
It is hardy to zone 0. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)
The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation: Apparently the plant smells like horse excrement. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. A semi-parasitic plant, growing on grass roots. Rather difficult to establish in cultivation, it is best grown in conditions that approximate to its native habitat. It requires a moist peaty soil and the presence of host grasses. Requires a partially shaded to sunny site in a well-drained gritty but moist soil.

Propagation: Seed – sow in pots of turf collected from the proximity of wild colonies or sow directly onto the sites where the plants are to remain. Division of established plants might be possible in the spring. Establish the divisions near the parent plants

Medicinal Uses:
Antirheumatic; Diuretic; Febrifuge.

Antirheumatic, diuretic, febrifuge. The plant is used in the treatment of fevers, leucorrhoea, rheumatism, sterility and urinary difficulties. A decoction of the plant is used to wash foul ulcers

The plant is used in the treatment of fevers, leucorrhoea, rheumatism, sterility and urinary difficulties. A decoction of the plant is used to wash foul ulcers

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://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Pedicularis+resupinata
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedicularis
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm
http://www.botanic.jp/plants-sa/siogam.htm

 

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Herbs & Plants

Pedicularis groenlandica

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Botanical Name : Pedicularis groenlandica
Family: Orobanchaceae
Genus: Pedicularis
Species: P. groenlandica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Name :Elephant’s head and Elephanthead

Habitat :This plant is found in the high mountain ranges of western North America, particularly the Cascades and High Sierra, much of Canada and Greenland. It grows in wet environments such as riverbanks.

Description:
General: erect perennial, 15-70 cm tall, coarsely fibrous-rooted, sometimes with an evident stem base, mostly  hairless throughout. The stems reddish-purple, often  clustered.

.You may click to see the pictures
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Leaves:    basal leaves 5-25 cm long, the blade equaling or exceeding the stalk, 0.5-4 cm wide, the pinnate segments narrow, sharply toothed, often with somewhat firm but elastic edges. Stem leaves alternate, several, gradually reduced upward.

Flowers: many in a dense, elongate, spike-like cluster. Bracts mostly much shorter than the flowers, at least the lower more or less cleft into narrow segments. Calyx lobes  5, short, entire, almost equal, often edged with minute hairs.Corolla pink-purple or almost red, 1-1.5 cm long, the galea  short and strongly hooded, tipped with a slender, elongate,
conspicuously upturned beak, like an elephant trunk. Lower  lip rather small.

Flowering time: June-August.

Fruits: capsules, hairless, curved and flattened.

Like other louseworts and related broomrape genera, this is a root parasite which obtains nutrients from the roots of other plants by piercing them with haustoria.

You may click to see more pictures of Pedicularis groenlandica :

Medicinal Uses:
The Cheyenne Drug used a tea of powdered leaves and stems taken to stop or loosen a coughs. They also used a tea of smashed leaves and stems taken for coughs.  All of the Pedicularis’ are tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, powerful aphrodisiacs, and sedatives. They are often employed medicinally for muscle pain and tension, particularly back pain. . It is also used for muscle strain due to overwork, sprains, joint pain, night-time cramps, and as a preliminary before bodywork such as massage. It is very relaxing to voluntary muscles, but large amounts can make a person goofy and lethargic.  Pedicularis are also used for their psychological effects, good for anger, fear, pain, anxiety. The whole flowering herb is harvested for the tincture, but only the flowers, fresh or dried, are made into a tea.  At least one Native American tribe is known to smoke the flowers of certain Pedicularis species for their medicinal effects and narcotic effects. These plants are a welcome addition to any smoking mixture both as flavor and a narcotic. Elephant’s Head is claimed to have the best flavor but is the mildest, but every Pedicularis has an excellent taste. P. Densiflora being the most potent species

Known Hazards: Louseworts can be eaten in small quantities in an emergency, but contain enough poisonous glycosides to cause severe illness if they are eaten in quantity.

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/Pedicularis_groenlandica
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_DE.htm
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=PEGR2&photoID=pegr2_009_ahp.tif
http://montana.plant-life.org/species/pedi_groenla.htm

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