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Gnaphaliums

Family: N.O. Compositae

The Gnaphaliums are a group of plants, individual species of which are known as Life Everlasting, Eternal Flowers, etc. They are used by the aborigines of America, who taught the white settlers their medical properties.

The Antennaria dioica, known under the name of Life Everlasting or Catsfoot, is the only British species and must not be confused with Antennaria plantaginifolia, or White Plantain, which is also sometimes called Life Everlasting.


GNAPHALIUM ARENARIUM

Family: N.O. Compositae

---Habitat---Scania, Denmark, Germany, Japan.

---Medicinal Action and Uses---Formerly much recommended for dysentery. Said to preserve woollen cloths from moth. In Japan it is used for moxas and as tobacco.

---Description---Leaves lanceolate, lower ones obtuse, flowers compound corymb, stalks simple. An annual hoary plant, stem upright, white, downy, about 1 foot high, with shiny yellow heads of flowers - the calicine scales ovate, blunt, lemon-coloured; also the corollets. Found in dry sandy pastures and hills. Blooming in Germany, Denmark and Scania July to December, in Japan December to April.

---Other Species---
Gnaphalium cymosum, or Branching Everlasting. The leaves when rubbed emit an odour like Southern Wood.

G. plantaginifolia. For a small fee the American Indians allow themselves to be bitten by a rattlesnake and immediately cure themselves with this herb.

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GNAPHALIUM STOECHAS

Botanical: Helichrysum stoechas
Family: N.O. Compositae

---Synonyms---Eternal Flower. Goldilocks. Stoechas Citrina. Gnaphalium citrinum. Common Shrubby Everlasting.
---Parts Used---Tops and the flowers.
---Habitat---Germany, France, Spain, Italy.

---Medicinal Action and Uses---Expectorant, deobstruent, used for colds, flowers formerly used as attenuants, discutients, diaphoretics. (In homoeopathic medicine, a tincture is made from Gnaphalium polycephalum which has proved very useful in sciatica, lumbago and some forms of arthritis. - EDITOR.)

---Description---Leaves linear; compound corymb; branches wand-like; stem 3 feet high, with long slender irregular branches, lower ones have blunt leaves, 2 1/2 inches long 1/8 inch broad at end; those on flower stalks very narrow, ending in acute points. Whole plant very woolly, calyces at first silvery, then turn a sulphur yellow. Taste warm, pungent, bitter, agreeable odour when rubbed.

See also:
CUDWEED
LIFE EVERLASTING
WHITE BALSAM
CATSFOOT

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Bear in mind "A Modern Herbal" was written with the conventional wisdom of the early 1900's. This should be taken into account as some of the information may now be considered inaccurate, or not in accordance with modern medicine.

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