- A Modern Herbal, by Mrs. M. Grieve Home Page

Deer's Tongue

Botanical: Liatris odoratissima (WILLD.)
Family: N.O. Orchidaceae

---Synonyms---Vanilla Leaf. Wild Vanilla. Trilissia odorata.
---Part Used---Leaves.
---Habitat---North America: cultivated in England.

---Description---Herbaceous perennial plant, composite distinguished by a naked receptacle, oblong, imbricated, involucre, and a feathery pappus, fleshy basal leaves obolanceolate, terminating in a flattened stalk. Leaves of stem clasping at base. The leaves are used to flavour tobacco. Their perfume is largely due to Coumarin, which can be seen in crystals on the upper side of the smooth spatulate leaves. Most of the species are used medicinally.

---Medicinal Action and Uses---Demulcent, febrifuge, diaphoretic.

---Other Species---
Liatris spicata has a warm bitterish taste and used as a local application for sore throat in the treatment of gonorrhoea.

L. squarrosa, called 'the rattlesnake' because the roots are used to cure rattlesnake bite, a handsome plant with very long narrow leaves, and large heads of lovely purple flowers.

L. scariosa also used for snake-bite and recognized by the involucral scales which are margined with purple.

Common Name Index

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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