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Sand Sedge

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  • Botanical: Carex arenaria
  • Family: Cyperaceae
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Sand Sedge

Botanical

Carex arenaria

Family

Cyperaceae

Known as

Sand Segge, Calamus. Sweet Flag. Sweet Root. Sweet Rush. Sweet Cane. Gladdon. Sweet Myrtle. Myrtle Grass. Myrtle Sedge. Cinnamon Sedge.

Collection Times

Jun to August

Parts Used

roots, seed

Aroma

exotic, sharp

Medicinal

arthritis, colic, coughs, cramps, cramps stomach, diabetes, diarrhea, digestion, eczema, flatulence, gastritis, gastrointestinal, indigestion, joint pain, rheumatism, stomach pain, skin rashes, edema, pharyngitis

Hormone & Sexual Organs

night sweats

Infection & Inflammation

skin inflammation, throat inflammation

Muscle & Joints

arthritis, joint inflammation, joint pain, rheumatism, spasm

Respiratory System

cough

Stomach & Intestinal

diabetes, diarrhea, digestion, flatulence, glucose lowering, gastric inflammation, stomach pain, stomach cramps, stomach complaints

Skin & Hair

eczema, itching, perspiration (sweating), skin rashes

Properties

antirheumatic, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic

Extraction

steam distillation

Description

The Sweet Sedge is a perennial herb, with a long, indefinite, branched, cylindrical rhizome immersed in the mud, about the thickness of a finger and emitting numerous roots. The erect leaves are yellowish-green, 2 to 3 feet in length, few, all radical, sheathing at their bases (which are pink), swordshaped, narrow and flat, tapering into a long, acute point, the edges entire, but wavy or crimped.

The leaves are much like those of Iris, but may readily be distinguished from these and from all others by the peculiar crimped edges and their aromatic odour when bruised.

The scape or flower-stem arises from the axils of the outer leaves, which it much resembles, but is longer and solid and triangular. From one side, near the middle of its length, projecting upwards at an angle, from the stem, it sends out a solid, cylindrical, blunt spike or spadix, tapering at each end, from 2 to 4 inches in length, often somewhat curved and densely crowded with very small greenish-yellow flowers.

Each tiny flower contains six stamens enclosed in a perianth with six divisions and surrounding a threecelled, oblong ovary with a sessile stigma.

The fruit, which does not ripen in Europe, is a berry, being full of mucus, which falls when ripe into the water or to the ground, and is thus dispersed, but it fruits sparingly everywhere and propagates itself mainly by the rapid growth of its spreading rhizome.

Properties & Uses

The root is diaphoretic and diuretic. An infusion has been used in the treatment of bronchitis and catarrhs, abdominal and stomach disorders, liver complaints, arthritis and rheumatism and skin conditions such as eczema and pruritus. It has been used as a substitute for the tropical plant sarsaparilla. The root is harvested in the spring and dried for later use. Other Uses Soil stabilization. The long creeping rootstock is valuable for binding sandy soils

Cautions

None known

Distribution

Coastal areas of Europe, including Britain, the Black Sea, Siberia and N. America.

Constituents

volatile oil, alkaloidal matter, mainly Choline (formerly thought to be a specific alkaloid, Calamine); soft resin, gum, starch and the bitter glucoside, Acorin, which is amorphous, semi-fluid, resinous, of neutral reaction, aromatic odour and bitter aromatic taste.

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.