Herb: Bitter Milkwort


Latin name: Polygala amara


Synonyms: Polygala amarella, Polygala austriaca, Polygala uliginosa


Family: Polygalaceae (Milkwort Family)



Medicinal use of Bitter Milkwort:

The herb is bitter, diaphoretic, diuretic, emollient, mildly expectorant, galactogogue. An infusion is used to treat stomach upsets, bladder and kidney disorders etc. The plant is harvested as it comes into flower and dried for later use.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
15 cm
(6 inches)

Flovering:
June to
August

Habitat of the herb:

Grassland and damp mountain pastures, especially on chalk and limestone.

Propagation of Bitter Milkwort:

Seed - sow spring or autumn 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 their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division. Cuttings of young shoots in a frame in late spring.

Cultivation of the herb:

Grassland and damp mountain pastures, especially on chalk and limestone.

Known hazards of Polygala amara:

Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, at least one member of this genus is said to be poisonous in large quantities.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.