Plant used for/Laxative
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- Stimulates bowel movements in a fairly gentle manner.
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Here is EcoReality's seed inventory for plants that are used as Laxative:
|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|
|259||Alfalfa||Fabaceae||Medicago sativa (dg fo pf wp)||Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring in situ. The seed can also be sown in situ in autumn. Seed can be obtained that has been inoculated with Rhizobium bacteria, enabling the plant to succeed in soils where the bacteria is not already present. Alfalfa can adapt to a wide range of climatic conditions from cold temperate to warm sub-tropical, but thrives best on a rich, friable, well-drained loamy soil with loose topsoil supplied with lime. It does not tolerate waterlogging and fails to grow on acid soils. Grows well on light soils. Alfalfa is a very deep rooting plant, bringing up nutrients from deep in the soil and making them available for other plants with shallower root systems. It is a good companion plant for growing near fruit trees and grape vines so long as it is in a reasonably sunny position, but it does not grow well with onions or other members of the Allium genus.||Hardy to zone 5. In flower June to July. Seeds ripen July to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by bees, lepidoptera, self. Self-fertile.||partial shade||well drained||poor||0 each||Leaves and young shoots - raw or cooked. The leaves can also be dried for later use. The seed is commonly sprouted which is added to salads, used in sandwiches etc or cooked in soups. The seed is soaked in warm water for 12 hours, then kept moist in a container in a warm place to sprout. It is ready in about 4 - 6 days. The seeds can also be ground into a powder and used as a mush, or mixed with cereal flours for making a nutritionally improved bread etc. An appetite-stimulating tea is made from the leaves.
Alfalfa leaves, either fresh or dried, have traditionally been used as a nutritive tonic to stimulate the appetite and promote weight gain. The plant has an oestrogenic action and could prove useful in treating problems related to menstruation and the menopause. The plant is grown commercially as a source of chlorophyll and carotene, both of which have proven health benefits. The leaves also contain the anti-oxidant tricin. The root is febrifuge and is also prescribed in cases of highly coloured urine. Extracts of the plant are antibacterial. Used for asthma, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders (anti-ulcer).
|Nitrogen, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin K||Anodyne, Antibacterial, Antiscorbutic, Aperient, Beverage, Diuretic, Dye, Emetic, Febrifuge, Food, 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, 2||Elderberry, Black; Black Elder; Elder Berry||Caprifoliaceae||Sambucus nigra (dg fo pf wp)||2013-04-23 00:00:00||182 each seeds in||plant||Soak berries overnight, smash them, and remove the seeds. Sow 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 store 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. Elderberries will not grow properly in sterile soil. Sow seeds in very rich and composty soil medium. The breakdown of fungi in the soil will produce gibberellic acid, a growth hormone which is helpful for germination. Once germinated, the seedling grows very rapidly into a handsome bush or small tree. Grow out in a shaded place in pots for a year before transplanting to final location.
Seed best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame, when it should germinate in early spring. Stored seed can be sown in the spring in a cold frame but will probably germinate better if it is given 2 months warm followed by 2 months cold stratification first. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If good growth is made, the young plants can be placed in their permanent positions during the early summer. Otherwise, either put them in a sheltered nursery bed, or keep them in their pots in a sheltered position and plant them out in spring of the following year.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame.
Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, 15 - 20cm with a heel, late autumn in a frame or a sheltered outdoor bed.
Division of suckers in the dormant season.
A very easily grown plant, it tolerates most soils and situations, growing well on chalk, but prefers a moist loamy soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Tolerates some shade but fruits better in a sunny position. Tolerates atmospheric pollution and coastal situations.
The elder is very occasionally cultivated for its edible fruit, there are some named varieties though most of these have been developed for their ornamental value. The sub-species S. nigra alba has white/green fruits that are nicer than the type species and are quite nice raw.
The elder also has a very long history of folk use, both medicinally and for a wide range of other uses. All in all it is a very valuable plant to have in the garden. The leaves often begin to open as early as January and are fully open in April. The leaves fall in October/November in exposed sites, later in sheltered positions. Young stems can be killed by late frosts but they are soon replaced from the ground level.
Very tolerant of pruning, plants can be cut back to ground level and will regrow from the base.
The flowers have a sweet, almost overpowering smell, not exactly pleasant for it has fishy undertones, but from a distance its musky scent is appealing.
Very resistant to the predations of rabbits. The flowers are very attractive to insects. The fruit is very attractive to birds and this can draw them away from other cultivated fruits.The elder is an early colonizer of derelict land, the seed arriving in the defecations of birds and mammals. It is a very good pioneer species for re-establishing woodlands. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.
|127||It's probably a good idea to grow 3 trees for pollination purposes, although we have certainly seen good crops of fruit from a single tree grown in isolation. Elderberries are best placed as an understory to a higher tree canopy. Will also grow in full sun if the roots are kept cool and moist.||sun or partial shade||moist||loam||50 each||Perennial, deciduous, multistemmed bush to small tree native to Europe. Wild form. This is the most tried-and-true species for medicinal use, and the berries are very tasty, and about twice as big as the berries of other species. Elderberry berries are rich in anthocyanins, bioflavonoids, vitamins and antioxidants.
The syrup, tincture or glycerite of the berries is excellent for treating the common cold and for overall increase in immunity. The fresh green leaves may be infused in olive oil to make an emollient embrocation for treating sunburn, rough skin, age spots, and/or diaper rash (normally individuals will not have both age spots and diaper rash, but it can happen). Truly, all parts of the plant may be used in herbal medicine, and this is much expanded upon in my book "Making Plant Medicine."
Flowers generally appear in year 3. Flowers turn rapidly into heavy clusters of fruits.
Elder has a very long history of household use as a medicinal herb and is also much used by herbalists. The plant has been called 'the medicine chest of country people'.
The flowers are the main part used in modern herbalism, though all parts of the plant have been used at times. The inner bark is collected from young trees in the autumn and is best sun-dried. It is diuretic, a strong purgative and in large doses emetic. It is used in the treatment of constipation and arthritic conditions.
An emollient ointment is made from the green inner bark.
The leaves can be used both fresh or dry. For drying, they are harvested in periods of fine weather during June and July. The leaves are purgative, but are more nauseous than the bark. They are also diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant and haemostatic.
The juice is said to be a good treatment for inflamed eyes. An ointment made from the leaves is emollient and is used in the treatment of bruises, sprains, chilblains, wounds etc.
The fresh flowers are used in the distillation of 'Elder Flower Water'. The flowers can be preserved with salt to make them available for distillation later in the season. The water is mildly astringent and a gentle stimulant. It is mainly used as a vehicle for eye and skin lotions. The dried flowers are diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, galactogogue and pectoral. An infusion is very effective in the treatment of chest complaints and is also used to bathe inflamed eyes. The infusion is also a very good spring tonic and blood cleanser.
Externally, the flowers are used in poultices to ease pain and abate inflammation. Used as an ointment, it treats chilblains, burns, wounds, scalds etc. The fruit is depurative, weakly diaphoretic and gently laxative. A tea made from the dried berries is said to be a good remedy for colic and diarrhoea.
The fruit is widely used for making wines, preserves etc., and these are said to retain the medicinal properties of the fruit. The pith of young stems is used in treating burns and scalds.
The root is no longer used in herbal medicine but it formerly had a high reputation as an emetic and purgative that was very effective against dropsy.
A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh inner bark of young branches. It relieves asthmatic symptoms and spurious croup in children.
The plant is a valuable addition to the compost heap, its flowers are an alternative ingredient of 'QR' herbal compost activator and the roots of the plant improve fermentation of the compost heap when growing nearby.
The leaves are used as an insect repellent, very effective when rubbed on the skin though they do impart their own unique fragrance. They can be powdered and placed amongst plants to act as a deterrent, or made into a spray when they act as an insecticide. This is prepared by boiling 3 - 4 handfuls of leaves in a litre of water, then straining and allowing to cool before applying. Effective against many insects, it also treats various fungal infections such as leaf rot and powdery mildew. The dried flowering shoots are used to repel insects, rodents etc.
The flowers are used in skin lotions, oils and ointments. Tolerant of salt-laden gales, this species can be grown as a shelter hedge in exposed maritime areas, it is rather bare in the winter though.
This is an excellent pioneer species to use when re-establishing woodlands. It is very tough and wind-resistant, grows quickly and provides shelter for longer-lived and taller woodland species to establish. It will generally maintain itself in the developing woodland, though usually in the sunnier positions.
A dye is obtained from the fruit and the bark. The bark of older branches and the root have been used as an ingredient in dyeing black. A green dye is obtained from the leaves when alum is used as a mordant. The berries yield various shades of blue and purple dyes. They have also been used as a hair dye, turning the hair black.
The blue colouring matter from the fruit can be used as a litmus to test if something is acid or alkaline. It turns green in an alkaline solution and red in an acid solution.
The pith in the stems of young branches pushes out easily and the hollow stems thus made have been used as pipes for blowing air into a fire. They can also be made into musical instruments. The pith of the wood is used for making microscope slides and also for treating burns and scalds. The mature wood is white and fine-grained. It is easily cut and polishes well. Valued highly by carpenters, it has many used, for making skewers, mathematical instruments, toys etc.
Fruit eaten raw or cooked. The flavour of the raw fruit is not acceptable to many tastes, though when cooked it makes delicious jams, preserves, pies and so forth. It can be used fresh or dried, the dried fruit being less bitter. The fruit is used to add flavour and colour to preserves, jams, pies, sauces, chutneys etc, it is also often used to make wine.
The fruit is about 8mm in diameter and is borne in large clusters. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.
Flowers eaten raw or cooked. They can also be dried for later use. The flowers are crisp and somewhat juicy, they have an aromatic smell and flavour and are delicious raw as a refreshing snack on a summers day, though look out for the insects. The flowers are used to add a muscatel flavour to stewed fruits, jellies and jams (especially gooseberry jam). They are often used to make a sparkling wine.A sweet tea is made from the dried flowers. The leaves are used to impart a green colouring to oils and fats.
|Antiinflammatory, Aperient, Beverage, Compost, Cosmetic, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Dye, Emetic, Emollient, 367||Red Currant||Ribes rubrum (dg fo pf wp)||2014-11-14 00:00:00||28 each cuttings in greenhouse soil||plant||90||Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 3 months cold stratification at between 0 and 5°c and should be sown as early in the year as possible[113, 164]. Under normal storage conditions the seed can remain viable for 17 years or more. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10 - 15cm with a heel, July/August in a frame[78, 113]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, preferably with a heel of the previous year's growth, November to February in a cold frame or sheltered bed outdoors[78, 200].||Damp soils in hedges and woods, avoiding acid soils.||sun or partial shade||well drained||garden||Easily grown in a moisture retentive but well-drained loamy soil of at least moderate quality[11, 200]. Plants are quite tolerant of shade, even succeeding on a north-facing wall, though they do not fruit so well in such a position. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 to 6. Hardy to about -20°c. Red currants are often cultivated in temperate zones for their edible fruit, there are some named varieties, including forms with white fruits[4, 61]. Most cultivars are self-fertile and set a good crop on their own. The fruit is produced at the base of one-year old and older wood, plants start to fruit at 3 - 4 years from seed. This is an aggregate species comprising R. spicatum and R. rubrum. There is some confusion in nomenclature with some botanists only recognising 2 species, R. silvestre. (syn R. sativum) and R. spicatum (syn R. rubrum)[17, 200]. Plants can harbour a stage of white pine blister rust, so should not be grown in the vicinity of pine trees. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.||Antioxidants, Fibre: Soluble, Iron, Manganese, Potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin K||Antirheumatic, Antiscorbutic, Aperient, Cosmetic, Dye, Poultice, Refrigerant, Sialagogue|
|265||Rye, Fall||Poaceae||Secale cereale (dg fo pf wp)||Seed: sow March or October in situ and only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 2 weeks.
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils but prefers a well-drained light soil in a sunny position.
It thrives on infertile, submarginal areas and is renouned for its ability to grow on sandy soils.
Established plants are drought tolerant. The plant is reported to tolerate an annual precipitation in the range of of 22 to 176cm, an annual temperature in the range of of 4.3 to 21.3°C and a pH of 4.5 to 8.2.
Rye is a widely cultivated temperate zone cereal crop. It is able to withstand severe climatic conditions and can be grown much further north and at higher altitudes than wheat.
Average yields vary widely from country to country, the world average is around 1.6 tonnes per hectare with yields of almost 7 tonnes per hectare achieved in Norway.
There are many named varieties. Rye is a rather variable species and botanists have divided it into a number of sub-species, all of which could be of value in breeding programmes. These sub-species are briefly listed below:
S. cereale afghanicum (Vavilov.) K.Hammer. Native to the Caucasus, western Asia and India.
S. cereale ancestrale Zhuk. Native to western Asia.
S. cereale dighoricum Vavilov. Native to the Caucasus and eastern europe.
S. cereale segetale Zhuk. Native to temperate Asia.Rye grows well with cornflowers and pansies, though it inhibits the growth of poppies and couch grass.
|full sun||well drained||poor||25000 grams||Edible seed: cooked. A common cereal, it is used especially in N. Europe to make bread. The seed contains about 13% protein. The grain also contains some gluten, though not as much as wheat, so it makes a heavier bread than wheat. It can also be used to make cakes etc. The seed can be sprouted and added to salads.
Malt, a sweet substance produced by germinating the seed, is extracted from the roasted germinated seed and used as a sweetening agent and in making beer etc. The roasted (ungerminated) seed is used as a coffee substitute.
The straw is used as a fuel or as a biomass in industry. It is quite strong and can also be used in thatching, for paper making, weaving mats and hats etc. Other uses for the straw include as a packing material for nursery stock, bricks and tiles, for bedding, archery targets, and mushroom compost.The plant is a good green manure crop. It is fast growing with an extensive and deep root system. It is especially useful if sown in late autumn. Its growth over the winter will prevent soil erosion and the leaching of nutrients from the soil, it can then be incorporated into the soil in the spring. The extensive root system also makes this a good plant to use for soil stabilization, especially on sandy soils.
|Carbohydrate, Phosphorous, Potassium, Protein||Beverage, Cancer, Fibre, Fuel, Green manure, Laxative, Oil, Poultice, Soil stabilization, 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|
|80||Wood Betony; Woundwort||Lamiaceae||Stachys officinalis (dg fo pf wp)||2013-04-27 00:00:00||120 each seeds in||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, Agavaceae, Aizoaceae, Alliaceae, Amaranthaceae, Anacardiaceae, Apiaceae, Apocynaceae, Araliaceae, Asteraceae, Boraginaceae, Brassicaceae, Campanulaceae, Caprifoliaceae, Adaptogen, Alterative, Analgesic, Anaphrodisiac, Anodyne, Anthelmintic, Antibacterial, Anticholesterolemic, Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Zinc
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