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Masterwort

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  • Botanical: Imperatoria ostruthium
  • Family: Apiaceae or Umbelliferae
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Masterwort

Botanical

Imperatoria ostruthium

Family

Apiaceae or Umbelliferae

Known as

Peucedanum ostruthium, Masterwort, Peucedanum ostruthium, Meisterwurz,

Old Use

medical

Collection Times

Jun to August

Parts Used

leaves, roots

Aroma

sharp, spicy

Medicinal

abdominal pain, asthma, arthritis, bladder disease, bladder stones, bladder weakness, constipation, coughs, cramps, cramps stomach, cystitis, diarrhea, digestion, difficulty breathing, dizziness, flatulence, gastritis, gastrointestinal, joint inflammation, menstrual cramps, menstruation promotion, menstrual problems, rheumatism, wounds

Hormone & Sexual Organs

cramps, menstrual cramps, menstruation promotion, menstrual problems, uterine cramps

Infection & Inflammation

skin inflammation, toothache

Muscle & Joints

joint inflammation, rheumatism, osteoarthritis

Respiratory System

asthma, bronchitis

Stomach & Intestinal

abdominal pain, bladder stones, bladder weakness, bile weakness, cystitis, diarrhea, digestion, flatulence, gallstones, gastritis, gastrointestinal, stomach pain, stomach cramps

Skin & Hair

skin rashes, sunburn, wounds

Properties

antispasmodic, antirheumatic, anti inflammatory, carminative, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, relaxant

Description

A smooth, perennial plant, the stout, furrowed stem growing 2 to 3 feet high. The dark-green leaves, which somewhat resemble those of Angelica, are on very long foot-stalks and are divided into `three leaflets, each of which is often again sub-divided into three. The umbels of flowers are large and many-rayed, the corollas white; the fruit has very broad wings.

Properties & Uses

Masterwort is little used in modern herbalism, but it may well be a herb that bears further investigation. It was held in high regard in the Middle Ages where it was especially valued for its ability to resolve all flatulence in the body and stimulate the flow of urine and menstruation. It was also used in treating rheumatic conditions, shortness of breath, kidney and bladder stones, water retention and wounds. The root is antispasmodic, aromatic, bitter, strongly carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, stimulant and stomachic. It is of use in the treatment of asthma, dyspepsia and menstrual complaints, an infusion helps to relieve migraine. The root is gathered in the spring or autumn and dried for later use. An essential oil from the plant has a euphoric and odontalgic effect. Used externally, it relieves skin irritation. When used externally, the plant or the extracted essential oil can cause an allergic reaction to sunlight. A homeopathic remedy is made from the roots

Cautions

Skin contact with the sap of this plant is said to cause photo-sensitivity and/or dermatitis in some people. It is also said to contain the alleged 'psychotroph' myristicine

Distribution

S. Europe. Naturalized in Britain.

Constituents

volatile oil, ethyl-butyrate, acetate, hexyl-butyrate, octyl-acetale, crystallizable substance, heraclin

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.