Herb: American Liverleaf
Latin name: Hepatica acutiloba
Synonyms: Anemone acutiloba, Hepatica nobilis acuta
Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)
Medicinal use of American Liverleaf:A tea made from the leaves is laxative. It is used in the treatment of fevers, liver ailments and poor digestion. At one time it became a cult medicine as a liver tonic and 200,000 kilos of dried Hepatica leaves were used in 1883 alone. Externally, the tea is applied as a wash to swollen breasts. The plant is harvested in late spring or early summer and is dried for later use.
Description of the plant:
(9 3/4 inch)
Habitat of the herb:Rich woods. Deciduous woods, often in calcareous soils, from sea level to 1200 metres.
Propagation of American Liverleaf:Seed - sow in a moist soil in a shady position. The stored seed requires stratification for about 3 weeks at 0 - 5°C. Germination takes 1 - 12 months at 10°C. It is probably worthwhile sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe in a shady position in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division just as the leafless plant comes into flower in late winter. Replant immediately into their permanent positions.
Cultivation of the herb:Rich woods. Deciduous woods, often in calcareous soils, from sea level to 1200 metres.
Known hazards of Hepatica acutiloba:Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, most plants in this family are poisonous. This toxicity is usually of a low order and the toxic principle is destroyed by heat or by drying.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.