Herb: American Liverleaf


Latin name: Hepatica americana


Synonyms: Anemone americana, Anemone nobilis obtusa


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 indigestion. 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.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
25 cm
(9 3/4 inch)

Flovering:
April
to May

Habitat of the herb:

Dry woods. Mixed woods, often in association with both conifers and deciduous trees, usually in drier sites and more acid 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 - 5C. Germination takes 1 - 12 months at 10C. 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:

Dry woods. Mixed woods, often in association with both conifers and deciduous trees, usually in drier sites and more acid soils, from sea level to 1200 metres.

Known hazards of Hepatica americana:

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.