Herb: Bearsfoot


Latin name: Polymnia uvedalia


Synonyms: Smallanthus uvedalia


Family: Compositae



Medicinal use of Bearsfoot:

Bearsfoot root was used by the North American Indians as a stimulant and laxative remedy. It is perhaps best known for its use as a hair tonic whilst the root is also taken internally as a treatment for non-malignant swollen glands and especially for mastitis. The root is anodyne, laxative and stimulant. The root is said to have a beneficial effect on the liver, stomach and spleen and may be taken to relieve indigestion and counteract liver malfunction. It is said to be of great use when applied externally to stimulate hair growth and is an ingredient of many hair lotions and ointments. A poultice of the bruised root has been used as a dressing and salve on burns, inflammations and cuts.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
2.7 m
(8 3/4 foot)

Flovering:
September

Habitat of the herb:

Rich woods and thickets.

Propagation of Bearsfoot:

Seed - sow late winter in a warm greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out after the last expected frosts. Consider giving them some protection such as a cloche until they are growing away well. Division in spring. Basal cuttings in the spring. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 - 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Cultivation of the herb:

Rich woods and thickets.

Known hazards of Polymnia uvedalia:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.