Herb: Pitcher Plant


Latin name: Sarracenia purpurea


Family: Sarraceniaceae (Pitcherplant Family)



Medicinal use of Pitcher Plant:

The root and leaves are diuretic, hepatic, laxative, stomachic and tonic. They are used in the treatment of dyspepsia, constipation, liver and kidney complaints. A cold decoction of the whole plant has been used in the treatment of whooping cough. An infusion of the dried leaves has been used in the treatment of fevers and shakiness. An infusion of the leaves has been used to make childbirth easier and also for sickness associated with an absence of menstrual periods. An infusion of the leaves was at one time considered to be a cure for smallpox, though this has never been substantiated. An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of smallpox, there are conflicting reports as to its effectiveness. A decoction of the root has been given to women to help expel the afterbirth and to prevent sickness after childbirth. A strong decoction of the root has been used in the treatment of spitting blood and pulmonary complaints.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Evergreen
Perennial

Height:
30 cm
(11 3/4 inch)

Flovering:
April
to May

Habitat of the herb:

Sphagnum bogs and peaty barrens.

Propagation of Pitcher Plant:

Seed - we have no information for this species but would suggest sowing the seed in light shade in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe if possible otherwise in early spring. 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. Consider giving the plants some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors. Division might be possible.

Cultivation of the herb:

Sphagnum bogs and peaty barrens.

Known hazards of Sarracenia purpurea:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.