Herb: Goatweed


Latin name: Ageratum conyzoides


Family: Compositae



Medicinal use of Goatweed:

The juice of the root is antilithic. A paste of the root, mixed with the bark of Schinus wallichii, is applied to set dislocated bones. The leaves are styptic. They are dried and applied as a powder to cuts, sores and the ruptures caused by leprosy, The powder absorbs the moisture of the disease and forms a layer that is removed after 1 - 2 days. An effective cure for most cuts and sores, though it does not effect a complete cure for leprosy. The leaves are also used externally in the treatment of ague. The juice of the plant is used to treat cuts, wounds and bruises. A paste of the leaves is used as a poultice to remove thorns from the skin. A paste made of the leaves mixed with equal amounts of Bidens pilosa, Drymaria cordata, Galinsoga parviflora and the rhizome of Zingiber officinale is used to treat snakebites. The juice of the flowerheads is used externally to treat scabies, whilst a paste of them is used to treat rheumatism. A tea made from the flowerheads mixed with Ocimum tenuifolium is used to treat coughs and colds.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Annual


Height:
100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

Flovering:
July to
September


Scent:
Scented
Annual

Habitat of the herb:

A common weed of cultivated ground, having spread from its native range to all areas of the Tropics within 20° of the Equator, to an altitude of 2,500 metres.

Other uses of Goatweed:

The leaves and the flowers yield 0.2% essential oil with a powerful nauseating odour. The oil contains 5% eugenol, which has a pleasant odour. The oil from plants growing in Africa has an agreeable odour, consisting almost entirely of eugenol.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow late winter or early spring in a warm greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Prick out the seedlings when large enough to handle and plant out after the last expected frosts. Seed can also be sown in situ in the spring and, for earlier blooms, it is possible to sow it in late summer or early autumn, though it will need to be overwintered in a warm greenhouse.

Cultivation of Goatweed:

A common weed of cultivated ground, having spread from its native range to all areas of the Tropics within 20° of the Equator, to an altitude of 2,500 metres.

Known hazards of Ageratum conyzoides:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.