Heracleum lanatum

Heracleum lanatum

Heracleum lanatum, Cow-parsnip, (Umbelliferae, the Parsley Family), 1-3 m in height, white floral rays, habitat: rich damp soil (102, 103).

Historically, physicians used the Cow-parsnip root to treat gas, dyspepsia, epilepsy, asthma, colic, dysmenorrhea, anemorrhea, stroke, palsy, and intermittent fever. American Indians used leaf poultices on aching joints and muscles, sore arms and legs, cuts, and on the eyelids for eye problems. A wash was used for swellings and rheumatism (88).

Leaf or root tea was used as a hair tonic and scalp cleanser to prevent dandruff and graying hair. Internally it was used for colds and sore throats. Root tea was used as a prugative and tonic and to treat influenza, tuberculosis, diarrhea, gut pain, colic stomach cramps, cholera, rheumatism, erysipelas, syphilis, and bladder problems. Root poultices were used on rheumatic areas, neuralgias, bruises, boils, sores, chronic swelling, wounds, syphilitic chancres, sore eyes, severe headaches, and pain in lungs, hips or back. Stems were poulticed for wounds and as a wart removal wash. A piece of root was place in a tooth cavity to alleviate toothache (88).

Smoke from the plant tops was used for fainting and convulsions, and smoke from the root for head colds. The plant was used in a steam bath for headaches and rheumatism, and the seeds were used to treat headaches. The flowers were rubbed on the body as a mosquito and fly repellent. Warning! These plants can cause severe contact dermatitis in sensitive individuals. Acrid stem sap can cause blisters on contact. The foliage is toxic to livestock (88).

It produces umbelliferone C9H6O3 which is being used in sunscreen lotions and creams; as intracellular and pH sensitive fluorescent indicator and blood-brain barrier probe, also is called 7-hydroxycoumarin, hydrangin, and skimmetin (174, 238).


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Hypoxis hirsuta

Hypoxis hirsuta

Hypoxis hirsuta, Star-grass, (Amaryllidaceae, the Amaryllis Family), to 6 dm in height, yellow flowers, habitat: dry open woods (102, 103).

It is known to produce the alkaloids: norbelladine, norpluviine, lycorine C16H17NO4, homolycorine, O-methylnorbelladine, tazettine, narwedine, galanthamine (97, 174).


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