Hawkweed is a small, hardy, perennial herb that grows about (4-36 inches) (10 centimeters- 1 meter) tall. The plant is found growing in mostly in open fields, mountain meadows, forest clearings, permanent pastures, cleared timber units, abandoned farmland, roadsides, waste areas and other disturbed areas. They are also found in lowland areas, especially along highways and roadsides. The plant prefers well-drained, coarse-textured, and low-nutrient soil. The plant has long and rather large roots, with many small fibers thereat. Stems are upright, up to 2 1/2 feet tall, hairy, leafy, and topped by 4-12 small yellow flowers heads in an open, round-topped cluster. Both flowers and leaves exude a sticky white sap when cut or broken.
Traditional uses and benefits of Hawkweed
1 This herb is used in cases of edema or fluid retention, kidney stones, cystitis, and hyper-uricemia.
2 Juice in wine, promotes digestion, expels wind, and neutralizes acidity in the stomach.
3 Scruple of the dried root given in wine and vinegar, is good for the dropsy.
4 Decoction taken with honey, and with hyssop, promotes expectoration and allays cough.
5 Decoction with a little wild succoury, made with wine, relieves colic, and hardness of the spleen it procures rest and sleep, purges the stomach, increases and purifies the blood.
6 It is also good for bleeding piles, and the leaves boiled in milk may be applied outwardly.
7 It is a constant medicine in diseases of the lungs, asthma, and incipient consumption in many parts of Europe.
8 Juice mixed with milk is good for inflamed eyes.
9 Green leaves bruised and mixed with salt make a good ointment for burns, erysipelas, and inflamed parts.
10 Powdered leaves and root, combined with bloodroot, have been used as a snuff in polypus of the nose.
11 Juice of the fresh leaves is recommended as a cure for warts.
12 Sticky and resinous, hawkweed is useful in alleviating damp sinus and chest congestion.
For a combination to alleviate leaky, drippy sinus congestion caused by hay fever, environmental allergies, or animal allergies, mix hawkweed with equal parts goldenrod, ground ivy, nettle, and New England aster to stop the runny nose in its tracks.
Recipes for this herb
Medicinally, it is used in the form of an infusion as well as a decoction.
Place 6 gr. of the aerial parts of the hawkweed in 250 ml water and boiled and still warm, leaving it for ten minutes. Then filtered and the liquid obtained can be taken twice daily. It has a diuretic effect.
12 g of this herb are added to 400 ml water and keep boiling for one minute. After that remove from the heat and leave it in contact with the water still warm for about 12 minutes. The liquid obtained can be consumed during the day.
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