Herb of the Day: Canadian Fleabane


Canadian Fleabane
( Asteraceae )
Parts used: Aerial parts

Canadian fleabane grows erect about 3 ft, and is a annual herb.It has narrow, dark green, lance shaped leaves and clusters of small white flower heads that quickly fade into silky white tufts. It is a Native to North America, and is now common in South America and Europe. It thrives on uncultivated and recently cleared land, often invading in large swathes. It is gathered from the wild when in flower. It contains a volatile oil including limonene, terpineol, linalool, flavonoids, terpenes, plant acids and tannins.
In traditional North American herbal medicine it was boiled to make steam for sweat lodges, taken as a snuff to stimulate sneezing during the course of a cold and burned to create a smoke that warded off insects ( hence its common name ). Canadian fleabane is a astringent herb and is taken for gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea and dysentery. A decoction of the herb, is reportedly a very effective treatment for bleeding hemorrhoids. The herb is occasionally used as a diuretic for bladder problems, clearing toxins in rheumatic conditions, and to treat gonorrhea and other urinogenital diseases. Canadian fleabane was used ritually and medicinally by Native North Americans.

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