Plant A Day – Greek Valerian

Greek Valerian Polemonium reptans

Greek Valerian
Polemonium reptans

Greek Valerian has a lot going for it.  It’s got a cool name, it’s a pretty plant and flower, it grows in rich woodlands, it’s not common but not rare and it’s native to North America.  In fact, the Native Americans used it extensively as a medicinal plant, particularly the root. According to what I read on the internet, which I believe wholeheartedly, it cures just about everything.

The roots are dried and ground up and used to make an infusion by adding a teaspoon to a cup of boiling water and then taken by the teaspoon as needed.  Of course they didn’t have cups or teaspoons back then, so they had to measure it out in Native American fashion.

Here are a few of the things it is used for:

  • Hemorrhoids
  • Induce sweating (not sure why)
  • Induce vomiting
  • Eczema
  • Scrofulous diseases (look it up)
  • Bowel complaints
  • Snake and insect bites
  • Bronchitis
  • Laryngitis
  • Coughs
  • Colds

It’s amazing how one little plant can do so much good.

The flowers are delicate and pretty

The flowers are delicate and pretty

pore2_flower_001

There is a similar looking plant called Jacob's Ladder which has more leaflets

There is a similar looking plant called Jacob’s Ladder which has more leaflets

pore2_flower_003pore2_plant_001

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