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Earthnotes
Herb Library

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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.




ALFILARIA
aka Storksbill
(Erodium cicutarium)
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An annual member of the Geranium family native to the Mediterranean region but has naturalized in North America in dry, sandy soils. A soft, hairy plant from 3 to 12 inches in height with fernlike (doubly pinnate) foliage. It has rose-colored half-inch, 5-petaled flowers and the following seedpods exhibit a beaklike appearance with a reflexed stem.

HARVEST: Leaves and seeds. Since it does not store well for medicinal purposes, it is usually used as a concentrated preparation and stored in that manner.

USES

MEDICINAL:
Considered to be astringent and hemostatic.
Primarily used for abnormal uterine bleeding and excessive menses which may or may not be accompanied by inflammation.
Leaf tea used as a diaphoretic, a diuretic, and for uterine hemorrage.
The leaves soaked in water used as a bath for rheumatic complaints.
A poultice of the seeds used for gout.

CULINARY:
Tender young leaves used as cooked greens (boiled 10 minutes) and in salads.

COMMENT:
There is some belief that small doses will raise blood pressure, while large doses will lower it. This has not been substantiated.




©2001 by Ernestina Parziale, CH

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