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Cochlearia officinalisCochlearia officinalis (Cruciferae)

SCURVY GRASS, SPOONWORT

 

Long before vitamin C was discovered, scurvy was a recognized disease known to occur whenever fruit and vegetables were scarce. These shortages happened in big cities, during famine, and on sea voyages. Even then scurvy grass was known to cure the symptoms of scurvy, but it was only recently discovered that the plant is as rich in vitamin C as fresh oranges.

 

Today, herbalists apply the leaves to slow-healing wounds or ulcers. A native of marshy European coastal lands, it is a small annual with thick, fleshy, egg-shaped leaves and clusters of white flowers in summer.

 

PARTS USED

Leaves.

 

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS

Glucosinolates; vitamin C.

 

ACTIONS

Prevents scurvy; promotes wound healing.

 

MEDICINAL USE

It was used in the past to treat scurvy, and is now applied externally to slow-healing wounds and ulcers.

 

PREPARATIONS

Fresh herb, infusion.

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