Plant used for/Antispasmodic
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- Relaxes muscular spasms and cramps, calming nervous irritation.
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Here is EcoReality's seed inventory for plants that are used as Antispasmodic:
|ID||common name||family||latin name||date||quantity||action||days to germ||propagation||days to maturity||habitat||sun||drainage||soil||inventory||notes||nutrients||needs||use|
|248||Butterfly Weed; Pleurisy Root||Apocynaceae||Asclepias tuberosa (dg fo pf wp)||30||Seed best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn or in late winter. We have also had good results from sowing the seed in the greenhouse in early spring, though stored seed might need 2 - 3 weeks cold stratification. Germination usually takes place in 1 - 3 months at 18°c. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out when they are in active growth in late spring or early summer and give them some protection from slugs until they are growing away strongly.
Division in spring. With great care since the plant resents root disturbance. Pot the divisions up and place them in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly, then plant them out in the summer, giving them some protection from slugs until they are established.
Basal cuttings in late spring. Use shoots about 10cm long with as much of their white underground stem as possible. Pot them up individually and place them in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse until they are rooting and growing actively. If the plants grow sufficiently, they can be put into their permanent positions in the summer, otherwise keep them in the greenhouse until the following spring and when they are in active growth plant them out into their permanent positions. Give them some protection from slugs until they are established.
Prefers a well-drained light, rich or peaty soil. Prefers a sandy soil and a sunny position. Prefers a slightly acid soil. Prefers a dry soil. Plants are hardy to about -20°c.Plants should be pot-grown from seed and planted out in their permanent positions when young. Plants are particularly at risk from slugs, however, and some protection will probably be required until the plants are established and also in the spring when the new shoots come into growth. The flower can trap insects between its anther cells, the struggles of the insect in escaping ensure the pollination of the plant.
|sun or partial shade||well drained||rich||0 each||*Flower buds - cooked. They taste somewhat like peas.
Pleurisy root is a bitter, nutty-flavoured tonic herb that increases perspiration, relieves spasms and acts as an expectorant. It was much used by the North American Indians and acquired a reputation as a heal-all amongst the earlier white settlers. Its main use in present day herbalism is for relieving the pain and inflammation of pleurisy. The root was very popular as a medicinal herb for the treatment of a range of lung diseases, it was considered especially useful as an expectorant.
It has also been used internally with great advantage in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, rheumatism etc. Use with caution; this remedy should not be prescribed for pregnant women.The root is harvested in the autumn and can be used fresh or dried. A poultice of the dried, powdered roots is used in the treatment of swellings, bruises, wounds, ulcers, lameness etc.
|Antispasmodic, Carminative, Cathartic, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Expectorant, Insectiary, Latex, Oil, Ornamental, Pollution, Poultice, Stuffing, Sweetening, Tonic, Vasodilator|
|323||Chamomile||Asteraceae||Chamaemelum nobile (dg fo pf wp)||2013-06-24 00:00:00||56 each starts in greenhouse soil||transplant||Seed - sow March in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and do not let the compost dry out. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer or following spring. Basal cuttings in spring. Harvest the shoots when they are about 5cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer. Tolerates most well-drained soils, preferring a dry sandy soil and a sunny position[4, 37, 200]. Tolerates partial shade. Established plants are drought tolerant. Can be grown in grass. Tolerates a pH in the range 6.8 to 8. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c. They often deteriorate in very wet or cold winters, but usually recover quickly in the spring and early summer. Chamomile is commonly grown in the domestic herb garden, it is also cultivated commercially for its flowers which are used in herb teas and medicinally. The double-flowered form is highly regarded for its medicinal virtues. Plants can be invasive when growing in good conditions, though they are easy to control[K]. There is some confusion between this plant (which is a perennial) and the annual chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) as to which is the genuine medicinal chamomile. Some reports say that this plant is the most effective herbally, whilst others says that Matricaria is more potent. Both plants seem to have very similar properties and either can probably be used quite successfully. Camomile is a very good companion plant, promoting the health of plants it is growing close to, it is especially good for growing near cabbages, onions and, in small quantities, wheat[4, 14, 20, 54, 201, 238]. The cultivar 'Treneague' is a low-growing non-flowering form that makes an excellent ground cover. Fairly tolerant of being walked on, it is sometimes used instead of grass for making a lawn though it is more difficult to maintain and can become weed infested, especially in its early stages. It also tends to become bare in places. The whole plant has a pungent aroma, this being especially noticeable on hot days or when the plant is bruised.||Ground Cover; Lawn; Cultivated Beds; East Wall. In. South Wall. In. West Wall. In.||sun or partial shade||well drained||poor||Camomile is a common herb with a long history of safe and effective medicinal use - it is widely used as a household herbal remedy. It is particularly useful as a remedy for various problems of the digestive system, as a sedative and a nervine, it is especially suited for young children[4, 20, 21]. A tea is made from the flowers and this should be prepared in a closed vessel to prevent loss of the essential oils. The flowers are anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, nervine, stomachic, tonic, vasodilator[4, 14, 21, 37, 165, 201]. The single-flowered form is the most potent medicinally, though it can in large doses damage the lining of the stomach and bowels. For this reason, the double-flowered form is usually preferred since this contains less of the alkaloid that causes the problem. The flowers are gathered in the summer when they are fully open and are distilled for their oil or dried for later use. They should not be stored for longer than 12 months. The whole herb is used to make a lotion for external application in the treatment of toothache, earache, neuralgia etc. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is 'Soothing'. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Chamaemelum nobile for coughs and bronchitis, fevers and colds, inflammations of the skin, inflammation of the mouth and pharynx, tendency to infection - improve immunity, wounds and burns (see  for critics of commission E).
An infusion of the flowers is used as a hair shampoo, especially for fair hair[14, 20, 168]. It is also used as a liquid feed and general plant tonic, effective against a number of plant diseases[18, 20, 201]. It has fungicidal properties and its use is said to prevent damping off in seedlings. The flowers are an ingredient of 'QR' herbal compost activator. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost[K]. The whole plant was formerly used as a strewing herb[4, 168]. The whole plant is insect repellent both when growing and when dried[14, 20]. An essential oil from the whole plant is used as a flavouring and in perfumery. Yellow to gold dyes are obtained from the flowers. The plant makes a very good ground cover and can also be used as an edging plant. It does tend to become bare in patches.
|Anodyne, Antiinflammatory, Antispasmodic, Aromatherapy, Compost, Dye, Essential, Food, Fungicide, Insect repellant, Nervine, Stomachic, Strewing, Tonic, Vasodilator|
|19||Cohosh, Black||Ranunculaceae||Cimicifuga racemosa (dg fo pf wp)||2013-04-26 00:00:00||208 each seeds in 8cc blocks||plant||Sow in fall for germination in first or second spring, or give 3 months warm followed by 3 months cold followed by warm again. If this scenario is followed, germ then occurs in warm soil in 1-2 weeks. Work seedlings up in pots in the shadehouse for a year or two before transplanting out. A long-lived plant, development is slow at first, but given adequate compost and moisture during the growing season, monumental individuals can eventually be achieved.||Plant prefers edge of forest or shade garden. Black Cohosh withstands more shade than most forest-dependent plants, and if the seedlings are worked up for several years until they are quite large, then you can even plant it in the open garden with good results.||full shade||100 each||(Recently re-classified as Actaea racemosa*)
Perennial, native to the Eastern Forest biome in the US. Hardy to all temperate zones. One of the best and most robust of herbal landscape plants. Striking foliage and tall white racemes.
The tincture of fresh root is antidepressant, pain relieving, sedative, peripheral vasodilating, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory, specific for treating tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and is customarily used to control the infamous "hot flashes" of menopause.
|Analgesic, Antidepressant, Antiinflammatory, Antispasmodic, Ornamental, Sedative, Vasodilator|
|3||Dang-gui; Tang-kuei; Dong-quai||Apiaceae||Angelica sinensis (dg fo pf wp)||2013-04-26 00:00:00||116 each seeds in 8cc blocks||plant||Sow seed in fall or early spring, on surface of soil, and press in well, and keep moist until germination. Cold soil germinator. Very trustworthy seed.
Seed best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe since the seed only has a short viability. Seed can also be sown in the spring, though germination rates will be lower. It requires light for germination. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in the spring. The seed can also be sow in situ as soon as it is ripe.Requires a deep moist fertile soil in dappled shade or full sun. This species is not fully hardy in colder areas, tolerating temperatures down to at least -5°c. Plants are reliably perennial if they are prevented from setting seed.
|Plant prefers part shade and moist soils.||sun or partial shade||moist||garden||Hardy to all temperate zones. Herbaceous monocarp native to China. Deeply cut leaves unfold from the meaty crown, subtended by the characteristically smoky smelling root, giving rise to the flowers that unfold and adorn the plant in late fall and sometimes make their seed after winter has commenced.
One of the most useful women's herbs of all times -- balances and regulates hormones. Dang Gui is a well-known Chinese herb that has been used in the treatment of female ailments for thousands of years. Its reputation is perhaps second only to ginseng (Panax ginseng) and it is particularly noted for its 'blood tonic' effects on women.
The root has a sweet pungent aroma that is very distinctive and it is often used in cooking, which is the best way to take it as a blood tonic. One report says that the root contains vitamin B12 and can be used in the treatment of pernicious anaemia. It is commonly used in the treatment of a wide range of women's complaints where it regulates the menstrual cycle and relieves period pain and also to ensure a healthy pregnancy and easy delivery.
However conflicting information suggests it should not be used during pregnancy and should not be used if menstrual flow is heavy or during menstration. It is an ideal tonic for women with heavy menstruation who risk becoming anaemic. The water-soluble and non-volatile elements of the root increase the contraction of the uterus whilst the volatile elements can relax the muscle of the uterus. Its use prevents the decrease of liver glycogen and protects the liver. Used for menopausal symptoms (hot flushes).
It has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of various bacteria including Bacillus dysenteriae, Bacillus typhi, B. comma, B. cholerae and haemolytic streptococci.
The root is an ingredient of 'Four Things Soup', the most widely used woman's tonic in China. The other species used are Rehmannia glutinosa, Ligusticum wallichii and Paeonia lactiflora.The root is harvested in the autumn or winter and dried for later use. It has been used to treat pulmonary hypertension in combination with the allopathic medication nifedipine. Other uses include: constipation (a laxative), trauma injuries, ulcers, rheumatism and malaria.
|Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin)||Alterative, Analgesic, Anticholesterolemic, Antiinflammatory, Antispasmodic, Deobstruent, Emollient, Hepatic, Laxative, Ornamental, Seasoning, Sedative, Vasodilator|
|56||Pennyroyal||Lamiaceae||Mentha pulegium (dg fo pf wp)||2012-04-07 00:00:00||520 each seeds in 8cc blocks||plant||DIVISION: Preferred propagation, as menthas cross readily and seed will not breed true reliably. Also, even in true M. pulegium, medicinal value differs widely between plants. Find the ones you like, and divide them to propagate clones. Divide any time of year. SEED: Sow spring in cold frame. Sow on surface in spring. Space plants 6 inches apart.||Plant prefers moist garden soil, areas that puddle up and then go dry, the edge of a stream or ditch, or the margin of a pond. Grow in containers if the spreading habit of this plant makes you uncomfortable, but the rest of us let it go where it will, as it is self-limiting when it meets -- dry soil.||sun or partial shade||seasonal flooding||poor||100 each||Herbaceous or in warmer zones evergreen perennial native to Europe. One of the smallest of the mints, it creeps around in moist places and sends up its pretty flowering tops to a height of only about a foot, in the summer. Pennyroyal makes a bright tea that is well appreciated by many, but it should never be used during pregnancy.||Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Carminative, Detergent, Diaphoretic, Emmenagogue, Fragrance, Insect Repellant, Insectiary, Sedative, Stimulant, Strewing, Uterine tonic|
|75||Valerian||Valerianaceae||Valeriana officinalis (dg fo pf wp)||10||Seed is short-lived and should be sown within a year of receipt. Light dependent germinator. Sow in spring, tamped securely into surface, and keep evenly moist until germination, which occurs in 10 to 16 days. Seedling leaves look very un-valerian at first and some folks are confused. But have faith, in time the leaves will become divided and much more closely resemble the standard form of the plant. Space plants 1 to 2 feet apart.
Seed: sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed because it requires light for germination. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant out into their permanent positions in the summer if sufficient growth has been made. If the plants are too small to plant out, grow them on in the greenhouse or frame for their first winter and plant them out early in the following summer.
Division: in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.
A polymorphic species, the more extreme variations are given specific status by some botanists. Valerian is often grown in the herb garden and also sometimes grown commercially as a medicinal herb.
When grown for its medicinal root, the plant should not be allowed to flower. The flowers and the dried roots have a strong smell somewhat resembling stale perspiration. Cats are very fond of this plant, particularly the powdered root. Once a cat has discovered a plant they will often destroy it by constantly rolling over it.The dried root also attracts rats and can be used as a bait in traps. A good companion for most plants.
|730||Valerian prefers full sun to part shade and moist but well-drained soils. I have seen excellent clumps form, during a wet spring, on the peak of a pile of ground pumice. However, regular garden soil amended with organic compost will do nicely. The plant adapts rather well to a wide range of conditions.||sun or partial shade||moist||clay||0 each||Herbaceous perennial. Native to Europe and temperate Asia.
One of the best phosphorous accumulators.
Probably the strongest herbal cerebral sedative, the plant makes one go to sleep. All parts of the plant are active, but it is the spreading root and root crown, dug and used fresh, that is most commonly used, and the tincture of the fresh root is the most common dosage form. However, I have gone to sleep after eating a salad that an unwitting apprentice had prepared using valerian leaves as an ingredient, and I've had multiple correspondences from folks that make tinctures out of the fresh flowers. Regardless of how you make the potion, it is well-known that Valerian does not work on everybody. Some folks are stimulated by it. However, most of us go to sleep under her influence.
Flowers white in the second year to a height of 5 feet or more. Some companies are slinging varieties of Valerian that they claim are medicinally superior to the standard European strain (which is what we grow). However, the standard strain is plenty good enough to do the job.
Valerian is a well-known and frequently used medicinal herb that has a long and proven history of efficacy. It is noted especially for its effect as a tranquilliser and nervine, particularly for those people suffering from nervous overstrain. Valerian has been shown to encourage sleep, improve sleep quality and reduce blood pressure. It is also used internally in the treatment of painful menstruation, cramps, hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome etc.
It should not be prescribed for patients with liver problems.
Externally, it is used to treat eczema, ulcers and minor injuries.
The active ingredients are called valepotriates, research has confirmed that these have a calming effect on agitated people, but are also a stimulant in cases of fatigue.
The roots of 2 year old plants are harvested in the autumn once the leaves have died down and are used fresh or dried. The fresh root is about 3 times as effective as roots dried at 40°, whilst temperatures above 82° destroy the active principle in the root.
Use with caution, can lead to addiction.
The plant yields about 1% of an essential oil from the roots.
Seed is edible. An essential oil from the leaves and root is used as a flavouring in ice cream, baked goods, condiments etc. It is especially important in apple flavours. The leaves can also be used as a condiment. The plant is used in moderation as a herbal tea.
It is used in perfumery to provide a 'mossy' aroma, though the scent is considered to be disagreeable by many people. The dried roots are also placed in linen cupboards and clothes drawers in order to scent the clothes.
The dried root attracts rats and cats, it can be used as a bait to lure them away from other areas.An ingredient of 'QR' herbal compost activator. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost. The plant can also be used to make a very good liquid plant feed. It attracts earthworms. The leaves are very rich in phosphorus.
|Phosphorous||Antispasmodic, Beverage, Carminative, Compost, Diuretic, Essential, Flavouring, Fragrance, Hypnotic, Insectiary, Nervine, Sedative, Stimulant|
|81||Woodruff, Sweet; Woodderowffe||Rubiaceae||Galium odoratum (dg fo pf wp)||2013-04-27 00:00:00||other||Seed: best sown in situ as soon as it is ripe in late summer. The seed can also be sown in spring though it may be very slow to germinate. A period of cold stratification helps reduce the germination time. Lots of leafmold in the soil and the shade of trees also improves germination rates.
Division: in spring. The plant can also be successfully divided throughout the growing season if the divisions are kept moist until they are established. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
Cuttings of soft wood, after flowering, in a frame.
Prefers a loose moist leafy soil in some shade. Tolerates dry soils but the leaves quickly become scorched when growing in full sun. This species does not thrive in a hot climate. Prefers a moist calcareous soil. Dislikes very acid soils. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.3 to 8.3. This species is very tolerant of atmospheric pollution and grows well in towns.
A very cold-hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -25°c.
Sweet woodruff is occasionally cultivated in the herb garden for its medicinal and other uses. The dried foliage has the sweet scent of newly mown hay. A very ornamental plant but it spreads rapidly and can be invasive. However, this is rarely to the detriment of other plants since these are normally able to grow through it.It does no harm to any plants more than 60cm tall.
|full shade||moist||30 each||Perennial creeping ground cover. Excellent choice for low light areas, the plant is spreading, white-flowered, and highly aromatic. Ingredient in ales of old (and old ales).
Sweet woodruff was widely used in herbal medicine during the Middle Ages, gaining a reputation as an external application to wounds and cuts and also taken internally in the treatment of digestive and liver problems. In current day herbalism it is valued mainly for its tonic, diuretic and anti-inflammatory affect. An infusion is used in the treatment of insomnia and nervous tension, varicose veins, biliary obstruction, hepatitis and jaundice.
The plant is harvested just before or as it comes into flower and can be dried for later use. The dried plant contains coumarins and these act to prevent the clotting of blood - though in excessive doses it can cause internal bleeding. The plant is grown commercially as a source of coumarin, used to make an anticoagulant drug.
A number of species in this genus contain asperuloside, a substance that produces coumarin and gives the scent of new-mown hay as the plant dries. Asperuloside can be converted into prostaglandins (hormone-like compounds that stimulate the uterus and affect blood vessels), making the genus of great interest to the pharmaceutical industry. A homeopathic remedy made from the plant is used in the treatment of inflammation of the uterus.
Edible: Leaves, raw or cooked. The leaves are coumarin-scented (like freshly mown hay), they are used as a flavouring in cooling drinks and are also added to fruit salads etc.
The leaves are soaked in white wine to make 'Maitrank', an aromatic tonic drink that is made in Alsace. A fragrant and delicious tea is made from the green-dried leaves and flowers. Slightly wilted leaves are used, the tea has a fresh, grassy flavour. The sweet-scented flowers are eaten or used as a garnish.
A red dye is obtained from the root. Soft-tan and grey-green dyes are obtained from the stems and leaves.A good ground-cover plant for growing on woodland edges or in the cool shade of shrubs. It spreads rapidly at the roots. It is an ideal carpeting plant for bulbs to grow through. Although the fresh plant has very little aroma, as it dries it becomes very aromatic with the scent of newly-mown grass and then retains this aroma for years. It is used in the linen cupboard to protect from moths etc. It was also formerly used as a strewing herb and is an ingredient of pot-pourri. It was also hung up in bunches in the home in order to keep the rooms cool and fragrant during the summertime.
|Antispasmodic, Beverage, Cardiac, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Dye, Fragrance, Homeopathy, Insect Repellant, Seasoning, Sedative, Strewing|
|282||Wormwood||Asteraceae||Artemisia absinthium (dg fo pf wp)||2013-04-26 00:00:00||100 each seeds in 8cc blocks||plant||180||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: half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame.
Division: in spring or autumn.Succeeds in any soil, but best in poor, dry, warm soil, which also promotes longevity and aroma.
|sun or partial shade||well drained||poor||0 each||Inhibits growth of fennel, sage, caraway, anise, and most young plants, especially in wet years [14, 18, 20].
Good companion to carrots, protecting them from root fly.
Deerproof, attracts dogs.
Fresh or dried shoots repel insects and mice. An infusion discourages slugs and insects.
Valued especially for its tonic effect on the liver, gallbladder and digestive system, and for its vermicidal activity[4, 238, 254].
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[4, 9, 21, 46, 165, 222, 254].
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.
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.
Leaves have been used with some success in the treatment of anorexia nervosa.
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.
|Anthelmintic, Antiinflammatory, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Antitumor, Carminative, Cholagogue, Emmenagogue, Febrifuge, Flavouring, Fragrance, Homeopathy, Hypnotic, Insect Repellant, Stimulant, Stomachic, Strewing, Tonic, Vermifuge, Veterinary|
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