Herb: Lady's Mantle


Latin name: Alchemilla xanthochlora


Synonyms: Alchemilla speciosa, Alchemilla vulgaris


Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)



Medicinal use of Lady's Mantle:

Lady's mantle has a long history of herbal use, mainly as an external treatment for cuts and wounds, and internally in the treatment of diarrhoea and a number of women's ailments, especially menstrual problems. The herb is alterative, antirheumatic, astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, sedative, styptic, tonic and vulnerary. The leaves and flowering stems are best harvested as the plant comes into flower and can then be dried for later use. The fresh root has similar and perhaps stronger properties to the leaves, but is less often used. The plant is rich in tannin and so is an effective astringent and styptic, commonly used both internally and externally in the treatment of wounds. It helps stop vaginal discharge and is also used as a treatment for excessive menstruation and to heal lesions after pregnancy. Prolonged use can ease the discomfort of the menopause and excessive menstruation. The freshly pressed juice is used to help heal skin troubles such as acne and a weak decoction of the plant has been used in the treatment of conjunctivitis.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
30 cm
(11 3/4 inch)

Flovering:
June to
September

Habitat of the herb:

Moist meadows, open woods, pastures and also on rock ledges in mountainous areas.

Edible parts of Lady's Mantle:

Young leaves - raw or cooked. A dry, somewhat astringent flavour. They can be mixed with the leaves of Polygonum bistorta and Polygonum persicaria then used in making a bitter herb pudding called "Easter ledger" which is eaten during Lent. Root - cooked. An astringent taste. The leaves are used commercially in the blending of tea.

Other uses of the herb:

A useful ground cover plant, though somewhat slow to spread.

Propagation of Lady's Mantle:

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 3 - 4 weeks at 16C. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on a cold frame for their first winter, planting out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring or autumn. The divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, though we find it best to pot them up and keep them in a sheltered position until they are growing away well.

Cultivation of the herb:

Moist meadows, open woods, pastures and also on rock ledges in mountainous areas.

Known hazards of Alchemilla xanthochlora:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.