Herb latin name: Rhododendron anthopogon
Family: Ericaceae (Heath Family)
Medicinal use of Rhododendron anthopogon:The stems and leaves of the sub-species R. anthopogon hypenanthum are used in Tibetan herbalism. They have a sweet, bitter and astringent taste and they promote heat. They are antitussive, diaphoretic and digestive and are used to treat lack of appetite, coughing and various skin disorders. In Nepal, the leaves are boiled and the vapour inhaled to treat coughs and colds. The flowers of the sub-species R. anthopogon hypenanthum are also used in Tibetan medicine, having a sweet taste and neutral potency. They are antitussive, febrifuge and tonic, being used in the treatment of inflammations, lung disorders and general weakening of the body. They are also used when water and locality are not agreeable due to a change of environment.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Moist open slopes, hillsides, ledges of cliffs and in thickets at elevations of 3000 - 4500, occasionally to 5000 metres.
Edible parts of Rhododendron anthopogon:The flowers are used as a tea substitute.
Other uses of the herb:The dried leaves are used as incense.
Propagation of Rhododendron anthopogon:Seed - best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn and given artificial light. Alternatively sow the seed in a lightly shaded part of the warm greenhouse in late winter or in a cold greenhouse in April. Surface-sow the seed and do not allow the compost to become dry. Pot up the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a greenhouse for at least the first winter. Layering in late July. Takes 15 - 24 months. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Difficult.
Cultivation of the herb:Moist open slopes, hillsides, ledges of cliffs and in thickets at elevations of 3000 - 4500, occasionally to 5000 metres.
Known hazards of Rhododendron anthopogon:Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where many members have poisonous leaves. The pollen of many if not all species of rhododendrons is also probably toxic, being said to cause intoxication when eaten in large quantities.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.