Plant used for/Astringent
Please add more about plants that are used for Astringent here!
- Produces contraction in living tissue, reducing the flow of secretions and discharges of blood, mucus, diarrhoea etc.
For more information
Here is EcoReality's seed inventory for plants that are used as Astringent:
|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|
|103||Amaranth, Golden Giant||Amaranthaceae||Amaranthus hypochondriacus (dg fo pf wp)||Direct seed in the spring garden and thin to about 1 foot apart. We tested the yield of our (Horizon Herbs Select) cultivar and registered one pound of finished seed per 10 row feet (about 10 plants). Seed - sow late spring in situ. An earlier sowing can be made in a greenhouse and the plants put out after the last expected frosts. Germination is usually rapid and good if the soil is warm. A drop in temperature overnight aids germination. Cuttings of growing plants root easily.||100||Plant prefers full sun and regular garden soil. If you can grow pigweed in your garden, then you can grow this amaranth (they are related).
This is one of the easiest grains for home gardeners to grow and eat. At this point we may be looking at an interesting diversion from our standard diet -- in a few years we may be relying on it heavily. At my house we already rely on it heavily. It is time to walk the garden, and make Captain Crunch walk the plank!
Requires a hot sheltered position if it is to do well. Tolerates a pH in the range 5.2 to 7.5. Plants should not be given inorganic fertilizers, see notes above on toxicity. Often cultivated, especially in tropical areas, for its edible leaves and seeds, there are many named varieties. This is the most robust and highest yielding of the grain amaranths, though it is late maturing and therefore less suitable for northern areas.Most if not all members of this genus photosynthesize by a more efficient method than most plants. Called the 'C4 carbon-fixation pathway', this process is particularly efficient at high temperatures, in bright sunlight and under dry conditions.
|full sun||garden||200 each||Annual native to South America. This is one of the earliest of all crops. As a young archaeologist, I excavated charred Amaranth seeds at the Koster site dating back to the new world paleolithic. This plant is still easy and worthwhile to grow and makes huge plumes of golden flowers on plants to 8 feet tall. Golden Amaranth produces the superior type of seed for food use -- light colored, loaded with nutrients, incomparably tasty.
Harvest: Wait until the seed is completely mature in the seedhead -- rub the head between your hands and if mature seed falls out, then its done. If not, then let it mature some more -- it won't hurt a thing! Harvest in the afternoon of a bright and sunny day (see harvest pictures, attached). Lay the seedheads out in the sun on tarps to dry, turning regularly and covering to disallow morning dew. Or, lay the seedheads out on racks in the dry shade or in an unused solar greenhouse. Once thoroughly dry, beat the heads with flails made of green willow or rub the heads through a 1/2 inch hardware cloth. Then, wind winnow on a sheet, allowing the chaff to blow away, and keeping the grain behind. If you have seed cleaning screens then the job will be easier and faster. Once the seed is clean, store it in jars in the kitchen.
It will last many years (if you don't eat it faster than that, that is.) I use 1/2 cup per person for breakfast, simmered in five times as much water. In other words, a standard breakfast for 2 people would be one cup of grain to 5 cups of water. Bring rapidly to a boil, then set to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the water is absorbed by the grain and the cooking gruel reaches the "pukka-pukka" stage where the bubbles burst out of the thickened gruel with a popping sound. Then, turn off the heat and cover for about 10 minutes. Then eat naked, or embellished by milks, raisins or other dried fruits.P.S. If you make this your breakfast cereal you will find that, after a couple of days, your (ahem) stool becomes very large and well formed. This is reason for rejoicing, not only because it feels great on expulsion, but because toxins are being moved out of your system, and as a cosequence you will probably not suffer from colon cancer.
|Carbohydrate, Protein||Astringent, Dye, Food|
|243||Amaranth, Mix||Amaranthaceae||Amaranthus hypochondriacus (dg fo pf wp)||Seed - sow April in situ. The seed can either be sown broadcast or in rows about 25cm apart, thinning the plants to about every 10cm. Germination is rapid, even in fairly dry conditions. Be careful not to weed out the seedlings because they look very similar to some common garden weeds[K].||Cultivated Beds;||full sun||well drained||garden||0 each||Protein||Astringent, Dye, Food|
|267||Autumn Olive; Autumn Berry, Silverberry, Aki-Gumi, Oleaster||Elaeagnaceae||Elaeagnus umbellata (dg fo pf wp)||Seed: sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. It should germinate in late winter or early spring, though it may take 18 months. Stored seed can be very slow to germinate, often taking more than 18 months. A warm stratification for 4 weeks followed by 12 weeks cold stratification can help. The seed usually (eventually) germinates quite well.
Layering: September/October. Takes 12 months.
Plants can fruit in 6 years from seed.An excellent companion plant, when grown in orchards it can increase yields from the fruit trees by up to 10%.
|full sun||well drained||poor||Fruit: edible raw or cooked. Juicy and pleasantly acid, they are tasty raw and can also be made into jams, preserves etc. The fruit must be fully ripe before it can be enjoyed raw, if even slightly under-ripe it will be quite astringent. The fruit contains about 8.3% sugars, 4.5% protein, 1% ash. The vitamin C content is about 12mg per 100g. Mature bushes in the wild yield about 650g of fruit over 2 - 3 pickings. The harvested fruit stores for about 15 days at room temperature. The fruit is about 8mm in diameter and contains a single large seed.
Seed: edible raw or cooked. It can be eaten with the fruit though the seed case is rather fibrous.
The seeds are used as a stimulant in the treatment of coughs.
The expressed oil from the seeds is used in the treatment of pulmonary affections.
The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers.Very tolerant of maritime exposure, it makes a good informal hedge, succeeding even in very exposed positions. The plants make a reasonable wind-protecting screen, they are about as wide as they are tall. They make a good companion hedge, enriching the soil and fertilizing neighbouring plants. The wood is a good fuel.
|Antioxidants, Lycopene, Nitrogen, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E||Astringent, Beverage, Cancer, Cardiac, Food, Fuel, Hedge, Pectoral, Stimulant|
|262||Balsam, Chinese||Direct seed in midspring. Probably one of the easiest germinators worldwide. Fast-growing, quick to flower. Space plants 1 foot apart. Grows 2 to 3 feet.||70||full sun||moist||rich||50 each||Native to China. The fleshy stems bear masses of highly decorative pink, purple, and lavender flowers that remain comely throughout the summer. The entire plant is loaded with healing mucilage. Because the seed of Chinese Balsam retains its germinability much more reliably than its American cousin Jewelweed (e.g. Impatiens capensis), we really recommend growing this plant for the same spontaneous anti-itch poulticing that has made Jewelweed so famous. Got poison ivy on your leg? Rub on the fresh juice of Impatiens -- it is astringent, anti-itch, and healing. And, you know in your heart, the fastest way to make it go away is to STOP ITCHING IT! Plant prefers full sun, rich soil, water.||Antipruritic, Astringent, Stings|
|16||Bayberry; Candleberry Myrtle||Myricaceae||Myrica cerifera (dg fo pf wp)||2013-04-20 00:00:00||other||Sow in outdoor nursery bed or outdoor flats in the fall, winter, or very early spring, or cold- condition 6 weeks. Scarify before planting by rubbing on medium grit sandpaper. Space trees at least 15 feet apart.||Plant prefers full sun.||full sun||50 each||Perennial, dioecious, evergreen shrub to small tree to 25 feet. Native to the southern US.
The root bark is a valuable stimulating astringent employed for treating diarrhea and dysentery. Bayberry root bark powder is an oldtime apothecary item.The wax that surrounds the seeds is a high grade plant wax that burns clear -- aromatic to the max.
|Antibacterial, Astringent, Dye, Emetic, Fragrance, Hedge, Narcotic, Oil, Sternutatory, Stimulant, Tonic, Wood|
|17||Bilberry; Blaeberry; Whortleberry; Fraughan||Ericaceae||Vaccinium myrtillus (dg fo pf wp)||2013-04-24 00:00:00||240 each seeds in 8cc blocks||plant||Soak berries in water overnight, smash them, and remove the seeds. The easiest way to do this is to put the berries in a jar, pour water over them, let them sit over night, then in the morning pour through a sieve, smash the berries inside the sieve, then put the mashed berries in a bowl or small bucket of water, stir them around in the water, at which point the flesh will float and the seeds will sink. Pour off the majority of the water and the flesh of the berries, then in the very end pour the water and the seeds into a sieve that is lined with a paper towel. Allow this to drain, and you will now have the seeds on the paper towel, and you can proceed to scoop them up and plant them. Use your fingers or a spoon. Sow in fall or very early spring in outdoor conditions, in pots or flats, and expect germination in the spring. Alternatively, you may wish to remove the seeds from the fruits and then mix the seeds in moist medium in a sealed plastic bag or jar in the refrigerator (not the freezer) for 90 days, then remove from fridge and sow. The best conditions for germination are cool, moist shade. We find that this method is pretty reliable. Sow seeds in acid loam medium. Grow out in a shaded place in pots for a year before transplanting to final location.||Bilberries prefer to grow in acidic loam soil.||poor||50 each||Short woody shrub growing in acidic, nutrient poor and subarctic soils throughout the world. Among all the closely related anthocyanin containing berries (including blueberries and huckleberries), bilberries are considered most potent, promoting night vision, improving vascular health and for treating macular degeneration.||Antiemetic, Antiseptic, Astringent, Diuretic, Hypoglycaemic, Kidney, Ophthalmic, Tonic|
|263||Chestnut, American||Fagaceae||Castanea dentata (dg fo pf wp)||2013-04-02 00:00:00||10 each starts in outdoor soil||transplant||Seed: where possible sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame or in a seed bed outdoors. The seed must be protected from mice and squirrels. The seed has a short viability and must not be allowed to become dry. It can be stored in a cool place, such as the salad compartment of a fridge, for a few months if it is kept moist, but check regularly for signs of germination. The seed should germinate in late winter or early spring. If sown in an outdoor seedbed, the plants can be left in situ for 1 - 2 years before planting them out in their permanent positions. If grown in pots, the plants can be put out into their permanent positions in the summer or autumn, making sure to give them some protection from the cold in their first winter.
Prefers a good well-drained slightly acid loam but succeeds in dry soils and in hot sunny sites. Once established, it is very drought tolerant. Very tolerant of highly acid, infertile dry sands.
Averse to calcareous soils but succeeds on harder limestones. Although it is very winter-hardy, this species only really thrives in areas with hot summers. A tree at Kew in 1985 was 15 metres tall and thriving.
At one time widely cultivated in N. America for its edible seed, it is now virtually extinct in the wild due to chestnut blight. Trees are possibly becoming resistant, some suckering stands in America are producing fruit. Suckers often reach 4 - 6 metres tall before succumbing to blight, but they rarely manage to produce fruit.An excellent soil-enriching understorey in pine forests. Flowers are produced on wood of the current year's growth. Plants are fairly self-sterile. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.
|Dry, gravelly or rocky, mostly acid soils. This species is extremely rare, due to chestnut blight.||sun or partial shade||well drained||poor||10 starts||A warm water infusion of the leaves has been used to calm the respiratory nerves and promote expectoration. The infusion has also been used in the treatment of whooping cough but modern opinion is that the leaves are no more than a mild astringent.
Edible seeds, raw or cooked. Rather on the small side, but these are the sweetest seeds of any species in this genus. The seed contains about 7% fat, 11% protein. It can be dried, ground into powder and then be added to cereals when making bread, cakes etc. A delicious oil can be extracted from the seed by crushing the nuts, boiling them in water and then skimming off the oil as it comes to the surface. It can be used as a topping for various puddings. The roasted nut can be used as a coffee substitute and a chocolate substitute can also be made from it.
The bark is a good source of tannin. The dried leaves contain 9% tannin. The wood and the seed husks also contain tannin. The husks contain 10 - 13% tannin.A brown dye is obtained from the bark. Wood - soft, not strong, light, very durable, liable to warp. It weighs 28lb per cubic foot. Easy to split, it is used for making cheap furniture, fence posts, in construction etc.
|Fat, Protein||Astringent, Dye, Expectorant, Food, Fuel, Oil, Tannin, Wood|
|260||Comfrey||Boraginaceae||Symphytum officinale (dg fo pf wp)||Seed: sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If you have sufficient seed you can try an outdoor sowing in situ in the spring.
Division: succeeds at almost any time of the year. Simply use a spade to chop off the top 7cm of root just below the soil level. The original root will regrow and you will have a number of root tops, each of which will make a new plant. These can either be potted up or planted out straight into their permanent positions.Tolerates most soils and situations but prefers a moist soil and some shade. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Best grown in an open sunny site in a deep rich soil if it is being grown for compost material. Plants can be invasive, often spreading freely by means of self-sown seed. The root system is very deep and difficult to eradicate, even small fragments of root left in the soil can produce new plants.
|Damp, often shady localities, in meadows, woods etc, especially near streams and rivers.||partial shade||moist||clay||Comfrey is a commonly used herbal medicine with a long and proven history in the treatment of various complaints. The root and the leaves are used, the root being more active, and they can be taken internally or used externally as a poultice. Comfrey is especially useful in the external treatment of cuts, bruises, sprains, sores, eczema, varicose veins, broken bones etc, internally it is used in the treatment of a wide range of pulmonary complaints, internal bleeding etc.
The plant contains a substance called 'allantoin', a cell proliferant that speeds up the healing process. This substance is now synthesized in the pharmaceutical industry and used in healing creams.
Some caution is advised, however, especially in the internal use of the herb. External applications and internally taken teas or tinctures of the leaves are considered to be completely safe, but internal applications of tablets or capsules are felt to have too many drawbacks for safe usage.
The leaves are harvested in early summer before the plant flowers, the roots are harvested in the autumn. Both are dried for later use.
A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh root, harvested before the plant flowers. This has a very limited range of application, but is of great benefit in the treatment of broken bones and eye injuries.
Edible: young leaves, cooked or raw. The leaf is hairy and the texture is mucilaginous. It may be full of minerals but it is not pleasant eating for most tastes. It can be chopped up finely and added to salads, in this way the hairiness is not so obvious. Young shoots can be used as an asparagus substitute, as are blanched stalks. Older leaves can be dried and used as a tea. The peeled roots are cut up and added to soups. A tea is made from the dried leaves and roots. The roasted roots are used with dandelion and chicory roots for making coffee.
|Anodyne, Astringent, Beverage, Compost, Demulcent, Emollient, Expectorant, Haemostatic, Homeopathy, Refrigerant, Vulnerary|
|26||Empresss Tree; Foxglove Tree||Scrophulariaceae||Paulownia tomentosa (dg fo pf wp)||2013-04-12 00:00:00||240 each seeds in 8cc blocks||plant||64||Like willow, will sprout from cuttings stuck in the ground.
Germination note on this seed: I sowed one packet of out seed on the surface, pressed it in and kept it moist, at 65 degrees F, and ended up with over 100 seedlings after an extended germination time of 64 days. Even I was beginning to wonder. Faith, faith, faith is the most essential ingredient!
Seed best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Sow stored seed in late winter in a greenhouse at 15 - 20°c. The seed requires light for germination. Fair to good germination. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
CUTTINGS of half-ripe wood, 5 - 8cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Overwinter in a cold frame for its first year and plant out in late spring. Root cuttings 4cm long in December. Good percentage survival.
Requires a deep moderately fertile moisture retentive but well-drained soil in a sunny sheltered position. Plants are tolerant of atmospheric pollution. A very ornamental and fast growing plant.
The flower buds are formed in autumn and can be excited into premature growth during mild winter weather, this growth is then more susceptible to frost damage. The flower buds are hardy to about -15°c when dormant.
Plants, and especially seedlings less than 2 years old, are frost tender when young.They do not flower reliably in maritime zones, this is probably due to insufficient warmth and dryness in the summer. Branches tend to be brittle. The flowers have a delicate sweet fragrance. Trees can be coppiced annually, they will then produce very vigorous growth with leaves up to 1 metre wide. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.
|sun or partial shade||moist||200 each||Deciduous, dioecious tree native to Central and Western China.
This is one of the most signficant of all permaculture trees. It is used extensively in China as a divider between fields. Instant shade in the summer, with leaves as big as elephant ears and much greener. Every year it gets harder for me to get the seed pods, as they occur many feet up in the trees here on our farm (trees that were started from seed some years ago -- these babies grow fast!). Anyhow I was putting off the harvest this year because its dangerous and all, and then finally got up the courage to go out and grab the ladder and a long pole to try to knock down some pods, and when I came to the trees, one of them had BENT OVER ITS TOP and was offering me the pods, completely ripe and ready to go, right there at head level. I said "Thank You" and took some of them. Talk about a giving tree...
Later, I cut some empress tree twigs to use as stakes to hold up impressotags in the greenhouse (for marking plants). I had built a giant, waist-high raised bed out of rocks and dirt, and was marking rows of newly planted seeds (Tulsi, Jiao-gu-lan, White Sage, Spicebush, and others) and I shoved these twigs into the dirt and twisted the tags around the tips, and thought nothing more about it. Then, the seeds started to come up, and I also noticed something a bit surprising -- the buds on the empress tree stakes were swelling, too. I thought, "well, that's all very nice, but of course a twig like that will not spring roots. Wrong again, Mr. Green Man -- not only did they sprout roots, but they started to territorialize quite vigorously. This reminded me of the story of "Robinson Crusoe" that I read as a kid, and how he made a fence of green poles (to protect himself from a footprint in the sand, I seem to remember -- not his) which then sprouted and made an impenetrable fortress. Empress tree would be good for this. Actually, I believe DeFoe wrote this book based on a sailor left behind on one of the ill-fated botanical voyages headed up by no less than the infamous Captain Bligh, later memorialized by several movies usually entitled something like "Mutiny on the Bounty." Breadfruits, it turned out, were not preferred food among the Caribbean slave population...
Afternote: The tree is increasing in popularity, as it has become evident that the fast growth and the great surface area of the leaves makes this one of the most significant "carbon sinks" available on the planet. Removes carbon dioxide from our atmosphere and replaces this gas with breathable oxygen at approximately twice the rate of a "normal" tree. Grow Empress Tree, People, and take a deep breath!The wood is resistant to insects. This is a fast growing tree, suitable for relatively quick fuel or lumber production.
|Astringent, Charcoal, Mulch, Ornamental, Skin, Vermifuge, Warts, Wood|
|46||Ku-shen||Fabaceae||Sophora flavescens (dg fo pf wp)||2013-04-28 00:00:00||44 each seeds in 8cc blocks||plant||Scarify and soak seed overnight and sow fall to early spring. Work up seedlings in pots until they are big enough to withstand the rigors of planting outdoors.
Seed best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse. Pre-soak stored seed for 12 hours in hot (not boiling) water and sow in late winter in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle into individual pots in the greenhouse, and grow them on for 2 years under protected conditions. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer of their third year.
Plants should be container-grown and planted out whilst young, older plants do not transplant well. A polymorphic species. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.CUTTINGS of young shoots with a heel, July/August in a frame. Also, air-layering.
|The plant itself does well in the same habitat as Sea Buckthorn (Hippophaea rhamnoides), with an ability to improve poor soil and stabilize loose, sloping ground. Relatively cold-hardy broadleaf evergreens brighten the dreary drears of winter. Plant prefers full sun and is not picky about soil.
Succeeds in a well-drained moderately fertile soil in full sun. Requires the protection of a sunny wall if it is to flower, and succeeds only in the mildest areas of the country. It grows best in the warmer areas of the country where the wood will be more readily ripened and better able to withstand winter cold.Although hardy to at least -15°c, this species does not do very well in the relatively cool summers of Britain, the plant gradually weakens and eventually succumbs. It can be grown in the milder areas of the country and be treated like a herbaceous perennial, growing afresh from the base each spring.
|full sun||well drained||poor||50 each||Evergreen perennial shrub to 5 feet, native to China and Japan. The dried root of this handsome, nitrogen-fixing subshrub is one of the Chinese herbs that clears heat, having a bitter and cold nature, used for jaundice, diarrhea, vaginal discharge and sores. It is a relatively important herb in the Chinese materia medica.||Nitrogen||Anthelmintic, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antipruritic, Astringent, Bitter, Carminative, Diuretic, Febrifuge, Insect Repellant, Parasiticide, Pectoral, Stomachic, Tonic|
|55||Mugwort, Western; White Sagebrush||Asteraceae||Artemisia ludoviciana (dg fo pf wp)||2013-04-27 00:00:00||300 each seeds in 8cc blocks||plant||7||Sow in spring. Press hard into surface and keep moist until germ. Germination note on this seed: My trials showed a very high rate of germination (no, I didn't try to count those little specks -- what do you think, I have the eyes of a 20 year old? At this age, you learn to trust intuition more than vision...) in 7 days at 65 degrees F. Develop quickly from green specks to respectable seedlings. Very excited about having them.||Plant prefers full sun to part shade and will thrive in dry, depleted soils.||sun or partial shade||well drained||Patch-forming herbaceous perennial native to western and central US.The softly silvery-white and aromatic leaves give rise to dangling flowers of yellow. Used extensively by the Native Americans and currently much valued by local herbalists in the form of tea, spice, poultice and snuff. The plant is astringent, deodorant and very friendly to the touch—used in treating eczema, spider bite, stomachache, and menstrual woes.||Astringent, Seasoning|
|69||Sumac, Smooth; Sumach Tree||Anacardiaceae||Rhus glabra (dg fo pf wp)||Scarify and sow in spring.||Plant prefers part shade to full sun and will flourish in any soil, including clay.||sun or partial shade||Small deciduous tree to 15 feet, with a flattened, spreading crown. All zones. Throughout North America, the several species of Sumac decorate field, roadside and yard with their deep-red, fall colors and erect, cone-like clusters of fruit. The fruit is covered with fuzz, rich in malic and ascorbic acid crystals, very high in vitamin C. You can make tasty sun tea from these fruits.||Alterative, Antiseptic, Appetizer, Astringent, Beverage, Diuretic, Dye, Emetic, Emmenagogue, Febrifuge, Galactogogue, Haemostatic, Hedge, Mordant, Oil, Ophthalmic, Pioneer, Refrigerant, Rubefacient, Salve, Shelterbelt, Soil stabilization, Tannin, TB, Tonic, Wood|
|74||Uva Ursi; Bearberry; Kinnikinik||Ericaceae||Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (dg fo pf wp)||60||Scarify seed vigorously on sandpaper. Fire dependent germinator. Sow in fall, spring, or summer. Space plants 1 foot apart.
Seed: best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe. Pre-soak dried seed in boiling water for 10 - 20 seconds or burn some straw on top of them and then stratify at 2 - 5°c for 2 months. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 3 months at 15°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame or greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer.
Cuttings of side shoots of the current season's growth, 5 - 8cm with a heel, August to December in a frame. The cuttings are very slow and can take a year to root.
Division in early spring. Take care because the plant resents root disturbance. Pot the divisions up and keep them in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing away actively.
Layering of long branches in early spring.
Requires a deep moist well-drained light or medium lime-free loam in sun or semi-shade. Shade tolerant but plants produce less fruit when they are grown in the shade. Prefers a cool damp position.
A very ornamental plant, it is sometimes cultivated for its medicinal uses.
There are a number of named varieties developed for their ornamental interest. The form 'Massachusetts' is an especially prostrate, free-flowering and free-fruiting form. 'Anchor Bay', 'Point Reyes' and 'Vulcan's Peak' have all been mentioned as good groundcover forms.This is one of the first plants to colonize bare and rocky ground and burnt over areas. It is often an indicator of poor soils in the wild. Plants resent root disturbance and should be placed in their final positions as soon as possible. Hybridizes with other members of this genus, especially A. columbiana.
|Plant prefers acid soils, full sun to part shade.||partial shade||moist||loam||30 each||Hardy to: All zones. Spreading perennial evergreen groundcover. Circumpolar. The herb covers entire hillsides and has been adopted by landscapers for use in the city as a drought tolerant, glossy leaved groundcover. Does well in pots.
Smokeable. Tea or tincture treats mild urinary infections.
Bearberry was commonly used by many native North American Indian tribes to treat a wide range of complaints and has also been used in conventional herbal medicine for hundreds of years, it is one of the best natural urinary antiseptics. The leaves contain hydroquinones and are strongly antibacterial, especially against certain organisms associated with urinary infections. The plant should be used with caution, however, because hydroquinones are also toxic.
The dried leaves are used in the treatment of a variety of complaints. These leaves should be harvested in early autumn, only green leaves being selected, and then dried in gentle heat.
A tea made from the dried leaves is much used for kidney and bladder complaints and inflammations of the urinary tract such as acute and chronic cystitis and urethritis, but it should be used with caution and preferably only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. The tea is more effective if the urine is alkaline, thus it is best used in combination with a vegetable-based diet.
Externally, a poultice of the infused leaves with oil has been used as a salve to treat rashes, skin sores etc, and as a wash for a baby's head. An infusion of the leaves has been used as an eyewash, a mouthwash for cankers and sore gums and as a poultice for back pains, rheumatism, burns etc.
The dried leaves have been used for smoking as an alternative to tobacco.
The herb should not be prescribed to children, pregnant women or patients with kidney disease. Other uses: fluid retention and bed wetting. Claimed to strengthen the heart muscle and urinary tract and to return the womb to its normal size after childbirth. Treatment should be short (seven days) and used with an alkaline diet. Not recommended for children under 12.
Edible fruit, raw or cooked. Insipid, dry and mealy, it becomes sweeter when cooked. Added to stews etc, it is a good source of carbohydrates.
The fruit can also be used to make a cooling drink or used for preserves etc. It can be dried and stored for later use. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter. A tea is made from the dried leaves.
A yellowish-brown dye is obtained from the leaves, it does not require a mordant. A grey-brown dye is obtained from the fruit.
The dried fruits are used in rattles and as beads on necklaces etc.The leaves are a good source of tannin. The mashed berries can be rubbed on the insides of coiled cedar root baskets in order to waterproof them. A good ground-cover for steep sandy banks in a sunny position or in light shade. A carpeting plant, growing fairly fast and carpeting as it spreads. It is valuable for checking soil erosion on watersheds. This is also a pioneer plant in the wild, often being the first plant to colonize burnt-over areas, especially on poor soils.
|Antiseptic, Astringent, Beads, Beverage, Diuretic, Dye, Hypnotic, Kidney, Lithontripic, Ornamental, Pioneer, Poultice, Skin, Soil stabilization, Tannin, Tonic, Waterproofing|
|77||Vetch, Kidney||Fabaceae||Anthyllis vulneraria (dg fo pf wp)||7||Scarify the seed on medium sandpaper and sow in spring. An overnight soak will speed germination, which takes 1 to 3 weeks. Barely cover with soil, tamp well. Easy to sow in place, or if you like, sow in pots. Excellent for open garden, grasslands, rock gardens, or potted culture.
Seed: sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. If there is sufficient seed it can be sown outdoors in situ. Pre-soak the seed for about 12 hrs or scarify the seed. It usually germinates in 1 -2 months at 10°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.
Division in spring or autumn.
Prefers a sunny position and an alkaline soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.8 to 8. Prefers a sandy loam. Thrives in poor soils.A rich food source for bees, butterflies and caterpillars.
|This easy creeper fixes nitrogen and provides nectar for an extended time period from midspring through midsummer, and again, sometimes, with the fall rains.||sun or partial shade||poor||50 each||Herbaceous perennial native to Europe and flowering yellow to about 8 inches. Plant prefers full sun to part shade and calcerous soils or regular garden soils. I frequently see this growing in the wild on the Pacific Coast, and it is relatively famous for doing well around beaches, sea cliffs, etc.
With its soft and pretty, globular flowers and forgiving, slightly downy foliage, Kidney Vetch is a natural choice as an emollient treatment for the skin, and has been used as such since time immemorial. The plant may be poulticed, or dried and made into an infused oil and incorporated in that way into cosmetics, lotions, or salves. The plant detoxifies, and it soothes inflammations.
This plant is an ancient remedy for skin eruptions, slow-healing wounds, minor wounds, cuts and bruises, it is applied externally.
Internally, it is used as a treatment for constipation and as a spring tonic. The plant can be used fresh in the growing season, or harvested when in flower and dried for later use.The dried flower heads are a tea substitute.
|Boron, Nitrogen||Antitussive, Astringent, Beverage, Emollient, Insectiary, Laxative, Vulnerary|
|258||Wild Hollyhock||Malvaceae||Alcea rosea (dg fo pf wp)||14||Seed: sow April/May or August/September in pots or in situ. Easily grown from seed, which usually germinates in about 2 - 3 weeks at 20°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.
Division after flowering. Only use rust-free specimens.
Root cuttings in December.
Basal cuttings at almost any time of year.
Succeeds in most soils. Poor soils should be enriched with organic matter. Prefers a heavy rich soil and a sheltered sunny position. Plants are hardy to about -15°c.A very ornamental plant, it is usually grown as a biennial due to its susceptibility to the fungal disease 'rust'. There are many named varieties. Young plants, and also the young growth in spring, are very attractive to slugs.
|sun or partial shade||moist||clay||0 each||The flowers are demulcent, diuretic and emollient. They are useful in the treatment of chest complaints, and a decoction is used to improve blood circulation, for the treatment of constipation, dysmenorrhoea, haemorrhage etc.
The flowers are harvested when they are open and are dried for later use. The shoots are used to ease a difficult labour. The root is astringent and demulcent. It is crushed and applied as a poultice to ulcers. Internally, it is used in the treatment of dysentery. The roots and the flowers are used in Tibetan medicine, where they are said to have a sweet, acrid taste and a neutral potency. They are used in the treatment of inflammations of the kidneys/womb, vaginal/seminal discharge, and the roots on their own are used to treat loss of appetite.
The seed is demulcent, diuretic and febrifuge.
Edible: young leaves, raw or cooked. A mild flavour, but the texture leaves something to be desired. They have been used as a pot-herb, though they are not particularly palatable. They can also be chopped up finely and added to salads.
Inner portion of young stems, raw. Flower petals and flower buds, raw. Added to salads.
A nutritious starch is obtained from the root.
A refreshing tea is made from the flower petals.
A fibre obtained from the stems is used in papermaking. The fibres are about 1.9mm long. The stems are harvested in late summer, the leaves are removed and the stems are steamed until the fibres can be removed. The fibres are cooked with lye for 2 hours and then ball milled for 3 hours or pounded with mallets. The paper is light tan in colour.
The flowers are an alternative ingredient of 'Quick Return' 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 seed contains 12% of a drying oil.
The red anthocyanin constituent of the flowers is used as a litmus.A brown dye is obtained from the petals.
|Antiinflammatory, Astringent, Beverage, Compost, Demulcent, Diuretic, Dye, Emollient, Febrifuge, Fibre, Litmus, Oil, Ornamental|
|79||Witch Hazel||Hamamelidaceae||Hamamelis virginiana (dg fo pf wp)||2013-04-20 00:00:00||other||30||Seed is quite hard and germinates best after some cold conditioning. Fall planted seed may germinate in a few months in a cold greenhouse, or if planted in the shadehouse or outdoor nursery bed will germinate in the spring. To sow in spring, plant early enough so that the seed experiences at least 30 days of cold moist soils, or give 30 days cold moist stratification in the refrigerator before planting. All this said, the germplasm is viable and robust, and given the right conditions the seeds do germinate reliably. Germination usually occurs between 30 and 90 days after planting.
Seed can be very slow to germinate. It is best to harvest the seed 'green' (as soon as it is mature but before it has dried on the plant) around the end of August and sow it immediately in a cold frame. It may still take 18 months to germinate but will normally be quicker than stored seed which will require 2 months warm stratification then 1 month cold followed by another 2 weeks warm and then a further 4 months cold stratification. Scarification may also improve germination of stored seed. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Overwinter them in a greenhouse for their first winter and plant out in late spring.
Layering in early spring or autumn. Takes 12 months. Good percentage.
Softwood cuttings, summer in a frame.
Prefers a moist sandy loam in a sunny position, though it tolerates some shade. Prefers a rich well-drained soil. Dislikes dry limy soils but will succeed in a calcareous soil if it is moist. Prefers a position sheltered from cold drying winds in a neutral to slightly acid soil. A very hardy plant tolerating temperatures down to about -35°c.Witch hazel is a widely used medicinal herb. The bark is harvested commercially from the wild in N. America. The twigs have been used in the past as dowsing rods for water divining. A slow growing shrub, it takes about 6 years to flower from seed. The flowers have a soft sweet perfume. This species is notably susceptible to honey fungus.
|2190||The witch hazel bush itself is full of surprises, flowering in midwinter and waiting to eject its seed until autumn. Plant prefers full sun to part shade and well-drained, slightly acid soils. It likes to be able to get its roots down into the aquifer, so it can often be found growing in dried up riparian zones or in moist but well-drained woodlands. It does fine as a permaculture bush/tree in city lots or on the farm.||sun or partial shade||well drained||rich||20 each||Woody perennial bush to small tree native to the US. A sturdy and handsome addition to the medicinal landscape, with a multi-stemmed habit.
The bright green leaves and young twigs, picked at the height of their glory and dried, produce the quintessential astringent. Water extracts or tinctures with low alcohol content and 10% glycerine thrown in to stabilize the tannins (see "Making Plant Medicine") prove to be very useful for treating hemorrhoids, herpes lesions, or any inflammatory conditions of the skin. Very nice way to tone up the waydown tissues after childbirth. Excellent post-operative swipe. Can be taken internally as well as used externally -- nontoxic.
For all you farmers market plant-seller type people, and nursery folks, a little tip -- the plants develop quicly into saleability and in our experience tend to be bestsellers. Trees on a pot will evoke remeniscent smiles and ready purchases among a significant cross section of your customers, including housepeople, herbalists, grandfolks and eager gardeners everywhere.
Witch hazel bark is a traditional herb of the North American Indians who used it to heal wounds, treat tumours, eye problems etc. A very astringent herb, it is commonly used in the West and is widely available from both herbalists and chemists. It is an important ingredient of proprietary eye drops, skin creams, ointments and skin tonics. It is widely used as an external application to bruises, sore muscles, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, sore nipples, inflammations etc.
Tannins in the bark are believed to be responsible for its astringent and haemostatic properties. Bottled witch hazel water is a steam distillate that does not contain the tannins from the shrub, this is less effective in its action than a tincture. The bark is used internally in the treatment of diarrhoea, colitis, dysentery, haemorrhoids, vaginal discharge, excessive menstruation, internal bleeding and prolapsed organs. Branches and twigs are harvested for the bark in the spring. An infusion of the leaves is used to reduce inflammations, treat piles, internal haemorrhages and eye inflammations. The leaves are harvested in the summer and can be dried for later use. A homeopathic remedy is made from fresh bark. It is used in the treatment of nosebleeds, piles and varicose veins.Seed is eaten raw or cooked, and has an oily texture. The seeds are about the size of a barley grain and have a thick bony coat. A refreshing tea is made from the leaves and twigs.
|Antiseptic, Astringent, Beverage, Cosmetic, Haemostatic, Homeopathy, Sedative, Tannin, Tonic, Wood|
|80||Wood Betony; Woundwort||Lamiaceae||Stachys officinalis (dg fo pf wp)||2013-04-27 00:00:00||120 each seeds in 8cc blocks||plant||7||Sow in the early spring. Standard greenhouse culture or direct seed. Barely cover seed, tamp well and keep evenly moist until germination, which occurs inb 1 to 3 weeks. Space 2 feet apart. Flowers from 2 to 3 feet tall.
Seed: sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer.
Division in spring. Very easy, the plant can be successfully divided at almost any time of the year. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.Prefers a light moist neutral to acid soil in sun or light shade. A characteristic plant of healthy roadside banks on heavy soils. Hardy to at least -25°c. At one time bugle was often cultivated for its medicinal virtues, though it is now little used. There are some named varieties selected for their ornamental value. An excellent bee plant.
|sun or partial shade||moist||clay||100 each||Herbaceous perennial, highly adaptable to lowland sites as well as gardens at altitude. Native to Europe and Russia. This moisture-loving plant is a clumper, making a lush mound that flowers in multiple upright racemes red-purple.
The tea or tincture of fresh leaf helps relieve acute or chronic pain.
Note from Richo: A truly stellar herb. We had to really dig to come up with the seeds back in the day. One of the best fresh tincture herbs for treating addiction -- the taste is so good that it can in and of itself become addictive! But that's a good thing. Nervine tonic against stresses of living in the good ol' USA.
Wood betony was at one time commonly used as a medicinal plant in the treatment of a wide range of disorders, especially as a nervine and tonic for treating maladies of the head and as an external application to wounds. It also stimulates the digestive system and the liver, having an overall tonic effect upon the body. Wood betony is much less used nowadays, and more often forms part of a mixture of herbs.
The whole plant is collected when in flower in the summer and can be dried for later use.
It is taken in the treatment of 'frayed nerves', pre-menstrual complaints, poor memory and tension. It can be taken in combination with herbs such as comfrey, Symphytum officinale, and lime flowers, Tilia species, to treat sinus headaches and congestion. Wood betony can be taken on its own, or with yarrow, Achillea millefolium, to staunch nosebleeds. A pinch of the powdered herb will provoke violent sneezing and it has been used as part of a herbal snuff mixture in the treatment of headaches. A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh plant. It is used in the treatment of asthma and excessive perspiration.
A fine yellow dye is obtained from the leaves.The leaves and flowering tops make a good tea substitute. Refreshing and aromatic, it has all the good qualities of tea without the negative ones.
|Analgesic, Anthelmintic, Antiseptic, Astringent, Beverage, Carminative, Cathartic, Cholagogue, Digestive, Diuretic, Dye, Emetic, Emmenagogue, Expectorant, Homeopathy, Insectiary, Nervine, Sedative, Sternutatory, Tonic, Vulnerary|
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