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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.

aka Bells, Cluckies, European Crowfoot, Garden Columbine, Meeting Houses, Rock Lily
(Aquilegia vulgaris) and (Aquilegia canadensis)

• SEEDS ARE POISONOUS and of particular danger to CHILDREN!

FYIAn herbaceous perennial from Europe which has been naturalized in North America. STEMS are prominently branching and slightly hairy being from 1 to 2½ feet in height. Basal and lower LEAVES are hairy beneath, being smooth on top and compound, having 3 leaflets to a stalk and each leaflet further divided into 3, the ends having 3 lobes. FLOWERS are terminal, nodding at the ends of the stalks, with 5 petals which are red outside and yellow inside with 5 nectar tubes standing upright in the center like a crown. Can be found in rocky woods and open fields.

Astrologically ruled by Venus §

PLANT CONTAINS: A. canadensis contains: Aquileginine, berberine, magnoflorine, alkaloids.

NEEDS Grown as an ornamental in part shade and average soil.
FLOWERS May - June.

Was considered astringent, diuretic, diaphoretic (the flowers added to wine were also employed as a diaphoretic), depurative, emmenagogue, sudorific, antiscorbutic.
A decoction of the root was used for diarrhea (some Native American tribes also made use of the leaves, often combining them with the root).
The seeds added to wine was used to hasten childbirth, also to treat jaundice.
The leaves were used to make a lotion for mouth and throat sores. Native Americans boiled the leaves in milk for sore throat.
A lotion made from the root was used externally for the pain of rheumatism.
Was once used to speed up the eruptive phase of smallpox and to treat scurvy.
The Meskwaki of North America chewed the root for stomach and bowel problems. They also combined Columbine with Prickly Ash (Zanthoxylum americanum) to treat 'thick urine'.

Crushed seeds have been made into insect repellent to repel lice.

In the northwestern United States, tribes of Native Americans ate the root of various species, A. canadensis being one of them.
Native Americans mixed together the ripe seed capsules and tobacco to give the tobacco a sweet smell.
In some Native American cultures the seeds were used as a love perfume and a love medicine to attract the girl of your dreams

©2001 & 2006 by Ernestina Parziale, CH