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Yohimbe (Pausinystalia yohimbe)

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Belle Luna Tea Gift Collection
Set includes 2oz each of Wild Orange Blossom, Jasmine Oolong, Golden Jade and Lavender Dreams. Also includes four reusable Origami tea tins to keep your beautiful teas stored safely. A perfect gift set for the beauty lover in your life.

Wood Betony (Pedicularis canadensis)

Wood Betony, Beefsteak Plant, Canadian Lousewort, Betony, High Heal-all, Snaffles, Canada Lousewort, American Lousewort, Common Lousewort, Lousewort

Pedicularis canadensis

Do not confuse with Purple Betony (Stachys officinalis)

The genus Pedicularis formerly belonged to the family Scrophulariaceae (Figwort or Snapdragon). It has recently been reclassified into the family Orobanchaceae (Broomrape). In any case, the Wood Betony is native to the eastern two-thirds of North America stretching from Nova Scotia to Manitoba, south to northern Mexico and east to Florida. Wood Betony or Canadian Lousewort is a perennial herb, found growing in thickets and dry, open wooded areas, clearings and along roadsides.

 Sweet Woodruff illustration
Wood Betony(Pedicularis canadensis)
from above
incredible image by dancing goose on flickr

Canada Lousewort (Wood Betony or Beefsteak Plant) is a partially parasitic plant (meaning it gets water and nutrients from the roots of grasses and other plants). If a suitable host is unavailable or nonexistent, it is more than capable of normal development yet; it is rarely if ever found not parasitizing other plants.

When in bloom, the Wood Betony (aka; American Lousewort) displays short spikes of bright flowers that rise above large rosettes of stark green, fern-like foliage. At first bloom, the flowers are pale green to yellow. Soon after, as the bloom increases, the spikes lengthen and the arched, upper lip of the blossom becomes dark purplish red while the lower one remains a pale yellow, and the trumpet of the bloom turns a deep reddish-brown. Finally the plant produces the fruit as a long, brown seed capsule. The crimson color often creeps into stems and leaves, giving rise to the common name - "Beefsteak Plant"

Farmers once believed that after their sheep and cattle fed on lousewort (Pedicularis Canadensis) a skin disease, produced by a certain tiny louse (pediculus), would attack them-and so begat our blameless betony's distasteful name.

Native tribes like the Iroquois harvested the plant as a vegetable, much like spinach, and it was also used by early Canadian settlers in soup.

The Menomini chopped the root fine and added it to oats to feed their horses to fatten them; they also believed it would make the animal vicious to all but it's owner. The Ojibwe had similar uses. Others believed it to be the Indian Love Medicine, the root carried by a person who was contemplating making love advances.

Medicinal use:
Wood Betony is considered a medicinal and edible herb, much used by Native Americans and prized for it's medicinal and aphrodisiac qualities.

 Sweet Woodruff illustration
Wood Betony(Pedicularis canadensis)
Beefsteak Plant
by dancing goose on flickr

Leaves and stems are cooked as pot herb. The active constituents in the plant are betaine, betulinic-acid, caffeic-acid, chlorogenic-acid, harpagide, rosmarinic-acid, and tannin.

As an alternative medicine it is an emmenagogue , anodyne, anti-tumor, aphrodisiac, blood tonic, cardiac, poultice, stomachic. A medicinal infusion of the roots is used as blood tonic, cardiac for anemia and heart troubles and to treat stomach aches, ulcers, and bloody diarrhea.

A medicinal poultice of the crushed root is applied to swellings, sore muscles, varicose veins, and tumors. The roots are finely grated and added to food as an aphrodisiac.

A medicinal infusion of the fresh leaves or dried herb has been used to treat a sore throat, tonsillitis, cough and bronchitis. Infusion also used to treat headaches, dizziness, urinary, bladder and kidney pain. Wash or dip in a strong decoction is used to rid animals and people of lice and scabies.

Some native Americans called the root the 'Enticer root' and carried it as a charm when bent on seduction; the root was also used to heal ruptured marriages by placing it in food the couple would both eat with the hope it would make them love each other again.

A root tea was used by Native Americans for internal swellings and a root poultice for external swellings. Also used for digestive problems and in cough medicines Early herbal healers considered the entire plant a tonic, sedative and astringent.

Wood Betony Tea Recipe
"Medicinal" tea: Steep 1 Tablespoon of dried herb in 1 cup of simmering water for 10 minutes, sweeten to taste. Drink warm at bedtime.


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