Herb of the Day for July 21 is Bittersweet

Herb of the Day

Bittersweet

Medicinal Uses: The bark of the root is used.  The root-bark tea induces sweating and is diuretic and emetic. Externally the bark is used in an ointment for burns, scrapes, skin eruptions.
Bittersweet is a narcotic herb containing solanine and in large doses can paralyze the central nervous system. Bittersweet is used to treat skin diseases, bronchial conditions and asthma.  

Magickal uses: This is a masculine herb. It is ruled by the planet Mercury and its element is Air. Shepherds hung it as a charm around the necks of their animals as protection from evil.

Properties: narcotic, exportant, diuretic

Growth: This is a climbing, twining shrub. It grows up to 50 feet in height. The leaves are ovate to oblong, sharp pointed and fine-toothed. The flowers are greenish and in clusters, May to June. The fruit capsule is scarlet to orange, splitting, to reveal scarlet seeds. The stems are green and slightly hairy at first but become woody with age. It grows in hedges, wasteways and swamps. Bittersweet is found in North America and Europe.

All parts of this plant including the berries are potentially toxic.
Source:
Author: Crick
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