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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.



PEARLY LIFE EVERLASTING
a.k.a American Everlasting, Cotton weed, Cudweed, Immortelle, Indian Posy, Moonshine, None-so-pretty, Poverty weed, Silver Button, Silver leaf
(Antennaria Margaritaceum syn Gnaphalium margaritaceum syn Anaphalis margaritaceum)
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Also see: Anaphalis

Creeping, spreading perennial. Slightly fragrant. Flowers from July to September.

PROPAGATION: By creeping roots.
HARVEST: Leaves, flowers and stalks.

USES

MEDICINAL:
Anodyne, astringent, pectoral.
Said to be soporific.
Has been used for diarrhea, dysentary, pulmonary complaints, coughs, colds, pains in the breast.
Has been used in poultice form for sprains, bruises, boils, and painful swellings.
Decoction of the flowers and stalks has been applied as a fomentation for pained and bruised limbs and for bronchitis. Also the pained body parts could be rubbed with the herb which was tied up in a cloth bag.
Has been used as a vermifuge.
In powder form was used for hemorrhage.
Has been used externally for tumors and contusions.
From Gerarde's Herbal (1600's) (emphasis mine): The herb boiled in strong lye cleaned the hair of nits and lice. Used in wardrobes it repelled moths. Boiled in wine and drunk, it would kill intestinal worms. Was considered good medicine for bitings and stingings of "venomous beasts".
Smoking the herb or inhaling the smoke of the burning herb was at one time considered good for coughs of the lungs or headache.
The Montagnais used a decoction for coughing, consumption, and stomach sickness.
Mohegans steeped and drunk the infusion for colds.
Chippewas made a decocotion of the flowers mixed with wild mint and then sprinkled on hot stones for paralysis.
Mohawks used the herb for asthma as an infusion of the flowers made together with mullein root.
The Tete de Boule boiled the flowers and used the resulting decoction by applying it to burns and dermatitis.

VETERINARY:
Used for diseases of sheep.

CRAFT:
Excellent everlasting material for dried arrangements.

OTHER:
The Cheyenne considered it to be "strong medicine". They dropped the leaves on hot coals and the smoke was used to purify gifts which were left on a hill for the sun or spirits. Before going into battle each man chewed a little of it and rubbed it over his body, arms and legs to impart strength, energy and dash, which would, they believed, protect them from danger.
The Forest Potawatomi smoked the dried flowers in a pipe or smudged them on coals to drive evil spirits out of the sick room. The plant was also used as a charm against witches. The dried tops were placed on a pan of live coals...the fumes supposedly would hurt the eyes of evil spirits and keep them away.
Used as a tobacco substitute by New England fishermen.




©2001 by Ernestina Parziale, CH

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