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Love in a Mist

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  • Botanical: Nigella damascena
  • Family: Ranunculaceae
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Love in a Mist

Botanical

Nigella damascena

Family

Ranunculaceae

Known as

Ragged Lady, Jungfer im Grünen

Old Use

medicinal, culinary

Collection Times

Jul to October

Parts Used

seed

Aroma

spicy

Medicinal

diarrhea, flatulence, gastrointestinal, menstrual cramps, menstruation promotion, menstrual problems, spasm, worm, gynecological issues

Hormone & Sexual Organs

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

Stomach & Intestinal

abdominal pain, diarrhea, liver weakness, intestinal parasites, stomach cramps, worm

Properties

astringent, carminative, emmenagogue, vermifuge

Description

Nigella damascena (love-in-a-mist, ragged lady) is an annual garden flowering plant, belonging to the buttercup family Ranunculaceae.

It grows to 20–50 cm (8–20 in) tall, with pinnately divided, thread-like, alternate leaves.

The flowers, blooming in early summer, are most commonly different shades of blue, but can be white, pink, or pale purple, with 5 to 25 sepals. The actual petals are located at the base of the stamens and are minute and clawed. The sepals are the only colored part of the perianth. The four to five carpels of the compound pistil have each an erect style.

The fruit is a large and inflated capsule, growing from a compound ovary, and is composed of several united follicles, each containing numerous seeds. This is rather exceptional for a member of the buttercup family. The capsule becomes brown in late summer. The plant self-seeds, growing on the same spot year after year.

Properties & Uses

An essential oil distilled from the plant is used in perfumery and lipsticks. The seed contains about 43.5% fatty oil, consisting of 97% total fatty acids of which 30% is free fatty acid

Cautions

None known

Distribution

It is native to southern Europe (but adventive in more northern countries of Europe), north Africa and southwest Asia, where it is found on neglected, damp patches of land.

Constituents

it mainly contains alkaloid demascenine and essencial oils.

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.