Herb: Yellow Foxglove


Latin name: Digitalis lutea


Family: Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)



Medicinal use of Yellow Foxglove:

Yellow foxglove is little used in herbal medicine but is in fact a less toxic alternative to the purple and woolly foxgloves (D. purpurea and D. lanata) which are widely used in the treatment of heart complaints. The yellow foxglove has similar medical actions, but its alkaloids are more readily metabolized and flushed out of the body. The leaves are cardiac, strongly diuretic, stimulant and tonic. They are used in the treatment of a weakened or failing heart, increasing the strength of contraction, slowing and steadying the heart rate and lowering blood pressure by strongly stimulating the flow of urine - which reduces overall blood volume. The leaves of plants in their second year of growth are harvested in the summer and dried for later use. This remedy should be used with caution and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner, excessive doses can prove fatal. See also the notes above on toxicity.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
60 cm
(2 feet)

Flovering:
July

Habitat of the herb:

Woodlands, hedgerows and uncultivated fields on siliceous soils.

Other uses of Yellow Foxglove:

An infusion of the plant added to the water in the vase will prolong the life of cut flowers. When grown near root crops the roots will store better.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - surface sow early spring in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 4 weeks at 20C. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.

Cultivation of Yellow Foxglove:

Woodlands, hedgerows and uncultivated fields on siliceous soils.

Known hazards of Digitalis lutea:

All parts of the plant are poisonous. The plant is less dangerous that the common foxglove (D. purpurea) since its effects are not cumulative.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.