4 days ago
The Bleeding Heart to ease pain. "A Plant a Day"- Bleeding Heart (Lamprocapnos & Dicentra spp.)- Bleeding Heart plants produce an incredible drooping inflorescence with a string of heart-like flowers that appear to be split open with a drop of blood! They all used to be part of the Dicentra genus, but now the genus is split into several depending on if the stems grow from roots or are branching. They are native to eastern Asia and North America, but it is easy to imagine how they have spread as many of the species are popular as ornamentals. Dicentra Formosa (the Western Bleeding Heart) grows in moist forestlands from California to British Colombia and produces pink, purple, yellow or cream flowers. Whereas, D. canadensis is found along the eastern North America and has white flowers. Another Bleeding Heart, L. spectabilis, is found in Siberia, China, Korea and Japan, and produces pink and white flowers.
Traditional medicinal uses for these plants exist, but much caution is required, as they contain the isoquinoline-like alkaloids which produce toxicity and skin irritation. Despite this, L.spectabilis has been enjoyed in Asia as a vegetable when the young leaves are cooked. In Asian traditional medicine, L. spectabilis was used for moving blood, “expelling pathogenic wind and subduing carbuncles.” Dicentra formosa was used by the Native American Skagit and later by the Eclectic physicians. Uses included as a narcotic, anthelmintic, topical analgesic (toothache), cancer and for hair growth. In drop doses, Bleeding Heart was used for pain topically and internally. The Western Bleeding Heart was also used as an alterative, diuretic and tonic, similar to a bitter tonic.
#APlantADay #UsefulPlants #MedicinalPlants #Ethnopharm #Ethnobotany #bleedingheart #dicentra #lamprocapnos #ornamental #eclectic #nativeamerican
Photo by Victorgrigas