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multiple varieties Sharp spikey leaves, hairless on top but have soft white wooly hair underneath. 3 ft stem (1m) sometimes purplish. Small greenish yellow cottony looking flowers on spikes. Leaves are edible, somewhat bitter (good for digestion, stomach acid, bile production, gas, bloating, nutrient absorption, liver). Used for centuries as an antibacterial, antifungal, worm-expeller, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant, stomach aid, and blood cleanser. Tea used to hide pain, headaches, promote sweating, regulates menses, lowers blood sugar, rheumatism, colds, bronchitis, epilepsy, colic, kidneys, nerves, shaking, stomach aches, asthma, insomnia, menstrual issues, tumors, stop bleeding, diarrhea, . Leaves contain compounds shown to be effective against staph and strep infections, dysentery, E.Coli, etc. Tea also used as insecticide, and externally for skin conditions like poison ivy. Used in past as flavoring for beer-like drinks before hops were used. Do not take while pregnant. Not advisable for children.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz