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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.

(Alisma subcordatum)
Also see Alisma plantago-aquatica and Alisma triviale

A member of the Arrowhead family to be found growing in the margins of lakes and streams and in watery shallow ditches and muddy areas from central to southern portions of North America. The leaves are long-stemmed and heart-shaped.

PROPAGATION: By seed in late summer or by division in spring.
PART USED: Dried leaves and roots. Leaves are harvested before the plant flowers. Roots are harvested in late summer or early fall.

Tea has been used as a diuretic for kidney stones and urinary diseases.
Fresh leaves are rubifacient.
Native Americans used the root as a poultice for bruises, swellings, and wounds.

One report circa 1900 gives a tincture of the root mixed with equal parts water and glycerin as a remedy for nasal congestion.

(Alisma plantago-aquatica)
[ze xie]

CONTAINS: A pungent volatile oil and an acrid resin.

NEEDS: Growing conditions same as Alisma subcordatum.
PART USED: Powdered rhizome and leaves. Infusions and tinctures prepared from the fresh swollen rhizome are used in homeopathy.

Part of the Chinese pharmaecopia and used in the oriental discipline as a diuretic for dysuria, kidney weakness, edema, distention, acute diarrhea, to reduce blood pressure, as an antibacterial, for liver problems, to reduce blood sugar, for cardio-vascular disease, and for epilepsy.
Has been used for kidney inflammation, kidney stones, cystitis, dysentary, painful urination, some venereal diseases, lumbago, and premature ejaculation.
Improves lactation.
Increases urine flow.

Laboratory experiments show some effects of lowering blood pressure and reducing blood glucose levels; also inhibiting storage of fat in the liver. Research also shows some anti-cancer properties.

Anciently, the powdered seeds were used as an astringent for wounds. Was also used in cases of snakebite and rabies. In Japan the dried root is known as Saji Omodaka.

(Alisma triviale)

Similar to A. subcordatum, but the leaves are less heart-like, being more oval in shape. Found in shallow water situations in eastern and central North America.

The dried root was used by Native Americans as a tea for lung complaints, backache, and kidney problems.

©2001 by Ernestina Parziale, CH