Buckbean

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  • Botanical: Menyanthes trifoliata
  • Family: Menyanthaceae
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Buckbean

Botanical

Menyanthes trifoliata

Family

Menyanthaceae

Known as

Common bog bean, Bachgräslein, Bachgräsli, Biberklee, Bitterblad, Bitterblatt, Bitterklee, Bocksbohnenblätter, Bohnenblad, Butterklee, Dreeblatt, Dreiblatt, Dreiblättriger Fieberklee, Feverkrut, Fieberklee, Fröschekohl, Gallkraut, Kreuzklee

Old Use

once-dreaded scurvy

Collection Times

Mai to Juni

Parts Used

herb, leaves, roots

Heart & Circulation

anemia, blood forming, dropsy (edema)

Infection & Inflammation

infections

Muscle & Joints

gout, muscle pain, muscle weakness, rheumatism

Mind & Nerves

headache, loss of appetite, migraine, neuralgia, nervousness

Respiratory System

cough

Stomach & Intestinal

bile weakness, constipation, flatulence, gallstones, gastritis, gastrointestinal, heartburn, liver weakness, indigestion, stomach weakness

Skin & Hair

eczema, jaundice, skin rashes

Properties

antispasmodic, antipyretic, anti inflammatory, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, stomachic, tonic

Description

It is a green, glabrous plant, with creeping rootstock and procumbent stem, varying in length according to situation, covered by the sheaths of the leaves, which are on long, fleshy, striated petioles and three-partite, the leaflets being entire and about 2 inches long and 1 broad. It blossoms from May to July, the flowers being borne on long stalks, 6 to 18 inches high, longer than the leaves and clustered together in a thick short spike, rendering them very conspicuous. The corollas, 3/4 inch across, are outwardly rose-coloured and inwardly white and hairy, with reddish stamens. The Buckbean is one of the prettiest of our wild flowers deserving of cultivation in the garden, where it grows and thrives well, if planted in peat with water constantly round the roots.

Properties & Uses

Bogbean is closely related to the gentians, which are famous bitter herbs used as a digestive and general body tonic. This plant can be used similarly, but it can irritate the digestive system of patients with gastric inflammation or infection[238]. The plant is anti-inflammatory, astringent, carminative, cathartic, deobstruent, digestive, diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, hypnotic, stomachic, tonic. All parts of the plant are medically active, but the leaves are the part most commonly used. The leaves are best harvested in late spring or early summer and dried before use, the fresh plant causes vomiting. An infusion is given in the treatment of muscular weakness in M.E., chronic infections with debility and exhaustion, indigestion, anorexia and rheumatism. Given in small doses of about 10 grains it imparts vigour to the stomach and aids digestion. Using the plant helps a person to gain weight. It s also believed to be an effective remedy for rheumatoid arthritis, especially when this condition is associated with weakness, weight loss and lack of vitality. Bogbean is usually prescribed in combination with other herbs such as celery seed (Apium graveolens) and white willow (Salix alba). This plant should not be prescribed for patients with diarrhoea, dysentery or colitis. Excess doses cause vomiting.

Traditional Use

Tonic, cathartic, deobstruent and febrifuge. An extract is made from the leaves, which possesses strong tonic properties, and which renders great service in rheumatism, scurvy, and skin diseases. It has also been recommended as an external application for dissolving glandular swellings. Finely powdered Buckbean leaves have been employed as a remedy for ague, being said to effect a cure when other means fail. In large doses, the powder is also purgative. It is used also as a herb tobacco. 

The juice of the fresh leaves has proved efficacious in dropsical cases, and mixed with whey has been known to cure gout.

Cautions

Large doses may cause abdominal pains, nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting. Reports of red cell damage (haemolysis). Effects may be due to the salicylic acid constituent

Distribution

Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to Spain, N. and C. Asia, Morocco.

Constituents

Alkaloide, Cumarine, Dihydrofoliamenthin, Emulsin, Flavanoide, Gentianin, Loganin, Menyanthin, Palmitin, Saponine, Tannine

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.