Herb: Larkspur


Latin name: Consolida regalis


Synonyms: Delphinium consolida


Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)



Medicinal use of Larkspur:

Larkspur was at one time used internally in the treatment of a range of diseases, but its only certain action is a violent purgative and nowadays it is only occasionally used in folk medicine. It is of value, however, when used externally, to kill skin parasites. The plant should be used with caution, see the notes above on toxicity. The seed is anthelmintic, mildly diuretic, hypnotic, purgative and vasodilator. It has been used internally in the treatment of spasmodic asthma and dropsy. The flowers or the whole plant are mildly diuretic and hypotensive. The expressed juice of the leaves has been considered an effective application to bleeding piles. A conserve made from the flowers has been seen as a good remedy for children when subject to violent purging. The juice of the flowers has also been used as a treatment for colic.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Annual/Biennial


Height:
50 cm
(1 foot)

Flovering:
June
to July

Habitat of the herb:

Cornfields and waste places, usually on sandy or chalky soils, avoiding shade in Britain.

Other uses of Larkspur:

A strong tincture of the fresh seed is used externally to kill lice and nits in the head and pubic hair. It is also effective against aphids and thrips. A good blue ink is obtained from the expressed juice of the petals together with a little alum. It is made from the leaves according to another report. It is also used as a dye and is green when mixed with alum.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in situ. It can also be autumn sown in areas with mild winters, otherwise sow in succession from spring to early summer. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 3 weeks.

Cultivation of Larkspur:

Cornfields and waste places, usually on sandy or chalky soils, avoiding shade in Britain.

Known hazards of Consolida regalis:

All parts of the plant are poisonous in large doses. The seed is especially toxic.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.