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Medical disclaimer: always check with a physician before consuming wild plants, and make positive identification in the field using a good source such as Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West.  Michael Moore also has a glossary of medical terms in his books, and maps in later editions. )
Common Name: American Licorice, Amolillo
Latin Name: Glycyrrhiza glabra, G. lepidota
Family: Leguminaceae
California, Nevada and Utah (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=GLLE3 All states west of the Mississippi R. except Louisiana, plus Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine; In Canada; British Columbia through Ontario. (Glycyrrhiza lepidota)
Photos: (Click on Latin Name after Common Name.)
Common Name: Cultivated Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra )

Appearance and Habitat: Dry open spaces, especially in sandy places near the sea in Europe – Mediteranean. A perennial growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in). It is hardy to zone 8. It is in flower from Jun to July.
Warnings: A gross overdose of the root can cause oedema, high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. Do not use during prementrual syndrome as water retention and bloating occur If pregnant or have a liver cirrhosis use with caution. Avoid using for more than 6 weeks. Excessive quantities may cause headache, sluggishness and potassium depletion.
Edible Uses: Root – raw or used as a flavouring. The source of liquorice powder that is extracted and used in sweets, baked goods, ice cream, soft drinks etc, it is also used medicinally. A sweet and delicious flavour, but the root is very fibrous. The root contains glycyrrhizin, a substance that is 50 times sweeter than sucrose. The dried root is often used for chewing, it is excellent for teething children and also as a tooth cleaner. A tea made from the roots is an excellent thirst quencher. The powdered root is also used as a sweetener in other herb teas. The leaves are used as a tea substitute in Mongolia.
Medicinal Uses :
Liquorice his one of the most commonly used herbs in Western herbal medicine and has a very long history of use, both as a medicine and also as a flavouring to disguise the unpleasant flavour of other medications. It is a very sweet, moist, soothing herb that detoxifies and protects the liver and is also powerfully anti-inflammatory, being used in conditions as varied as arthritis and mouth ulcers. The root is alterative, antispasmodic, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, laxative, moderately pectoral and tonic. The root has also been shown to have a hormonal effect similar to the ovarian hormone. Liquorice root is much used in cough medicines and also in the treatment of catarrhal infections of the urinary tract. It is taken internally in the treatment of Addison’s disease, asthma, bronchitis, coughs, peptic ulcer, arthritis, allergic complaints and following steroidal therapy. It should be used in moderation and should not be prescribed for pregnant women or people with high blood pressure, kidney disease or taking digoxin-based medication. Prolonged usage raises the blood pressure and causes water retention. See also the notes above on toxicity. Externally, the root is used in the treatment of herpes, eczema and shingles. The root is harvested in the autumn when 3 – 4 years old and is dried for later use. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Glycyrrhiza glabra for coughs/bronchitis, gastritis.
Common Name: American Licorice (Glycyrrhiza lepidota )

Native American Name: Quitchemboo (Bannock)(1)
Appearance and Habitat:
Erect perennial up to 3ft. The stem is covered with minute sticky hairs. Cream flowers, which resemble those of alfalfa, are crowded on a terminal spike. Leaves are pinnately compound. The brown fruit is covered with hooked spines and resembes a cocklebur. The root has a distinct licorice flavor, but commercial licorice is obtained from another plant of this genus that is not a North American native.(2)Cultivated ground, waste places, roadsides, prairies, gravely river bottoms and moist mountain draws to 2,100 meters. Usually grows in patches, frequently in heavy clay and saline soils. N. America – saskatchewan to British Columbia, south to California and Mexico. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September.(3)This plant resembles sweet peas and forms large colonies through it root. The leaves are pinnate with a single leave at the end of the stem making an odd number leaflets. The leaflets can range from 11 to 17 in number. Th foliage is sticky and waxy when touched. The average height is 2 feet. Along the stock flower clusters emerge at the axis of the leaves. The flowers vary in color, from cream, white, light yellow green and once in a while some are tinged with purple. The blooms mature into a cluster of barbed seeds that are usually a 1/2 long. The barbed seeds are a distinguishing characteristic of Licorice that is found in the west.(4)
Warnings: Very young growth can be poisonous to animals.(5)
Edible Uses: Root – raw or cooked. Long, sweet and fleshy, when slow roasted they are said to taste like sweet potatoes. They can be used as a flavouring in other foods and can also be chewed raw as a masticatory, making an excellent tooth cleaner and also very good for teething children. The root contains 6% glycyrrhizin, a substance that is 50 times sweeter than sugar. The tender young shoots can be eaten raw in the spring.(6)
Medicinal Uses :
American liquorice was widely employed medicinally by a number of native North American Indian tribes who used it in the treatment of a range of diseases. All parts of the body are medicinal, but the roots are the most active part. This species has properties similar to other liquorices which are widely used medicinally, though this species is rather neglected in modern literature. An infusion of the root is used to speed the delivery of the placenta after childbirth, it is also used to treat coughs, diarrhoea, chest pains, fevers in children, stomach aches etc. It is also used as a wash or poultice on swellings. The chewed root is retained in the mouth as a treatment for toothache and sore throats. The mashed leaves are used as a poultice on sores. The leaves have been placed in the shoes to absorb moisture. (7)The root was chewed for a strong throat for singing. The root was boiled into a tonic for a sore throat. ( 8 )Collect the roots in the fall. Try your best to not harm too many of the lateral roots from which new plants will grow in the spring. The tap root can go down 3 or 4 feet in the ground. Dry the roots after spliting them in a cheesecloth pocket suspended in the shade in a spot that is airy. It may take up to two weeks for the roots to dry. Licorice is excellent to treat inflammatory upper respiratory conditions. It is rather unque in that it strengthens the effects of other herbs you are taking. It works well with Mullein and Horehound. The roots are high in steriod content and can raise levels of estrogen and andreocortico- steroids if you are deficient. Two cups of Licorice tea per day for a week will help treat painful menstrual cramps and continued use may lessen the problem in the future. The tea will also treat stomach ulcers, especially so if the pain is predictable at certain time of the day. For this use, use a rounded teaspoon of the chopper root, boiled in water and drunk when it reaches body temperature. It will also treat frequent urination and dry constipation. It does this by diminishing urination while it allows more fluids to retained ending the dry constipation. It is also helpful for treating bronchitis or other respiratory ills accompanied by a fever. It is not advised to use during pregnancy or with steriod therapy. To make the tea use 1 part dried chopped root to 32 parts water, boil them together for 10 minutes allow it to cool until warm, then strain the root and return the volume to 32 parts. (9)
Foot Notes: (1, 8) Indian Uses of Native Plants
by Edith Murphey, page 38; Publisher: Meyerbooks Copy right 1990; ISBN 0-916638-15-4

Foot Notes:
Foot Notes:
(3, 5, 6, 7 )http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Glycyrrhiza+lepidota
Foot Notes:
(4, 9) Medical Plants of the Moutain West ,2nd Edition, by Michael Moore, pages 148 -150; Publisher: Museum of New Mexico Press, Copyright 2003, ISBN: 978-0-89013-454-2

I am going to include one more plant under this heading as it is called Licorice Root, though the family changes.
Common Name: Canadian Licorice Root
Latin Name: Ligusticum canadense
Family: Apiaceae
Range: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=lica16
Indiana, Pennsylvania, Maryland, all States south of the Ohio R., except Florida, plus Missouri and Arkansas.
Photos: Ligusticum canadense
Appearance and Habitat: Habitat is unknown, range N. America.
Warnings: None
Edible Uses: Leaves and young stems – cooked. The young leaves have been boiled and used as greens. They are often cooked with leaves of Ramps (Allium tricoccum). The leaves can be dried for later use.
Medicinal Uses :The root has been chewed in the treatment of any stomach disorders.
Common Name: Cow Parsnip, Cow Cabbage, American Masterwort, Wolly Parsnip, Indian Rhubarb
Latin Name: Heracleum sphondylium L. var. lanatum , Heracleum sphondylium L. ssp. montanum, Heracleum sphondylium  
Family: Umbellaiferae

Range: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=HEMA80 All States except Hawaii, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and S. Carolina; In Canada; all Provinces exept Nunavut. (Note: this covers Heracleum sphondylium lanatum and Heracleum sphondylium montanum)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=HESP6 Washington, Oregon, New Jersey and New York northwards to Maine, but not in Vermont; In Canada; Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Labrador and Newbrunswick. (Heracleum sphondylium)
Photos: ( Heracleum lanatum) ( Heracleum montanum) (Heracleum sphondylium)
Common Name: Common Cow Parsnip, Indian Rhubarb (H. lanatum and H. montanum)
Native American Name:
Po-kint-somo (Blackfoot) .(1)
Appearance and Habitat:
This very tall plant has huge leaves and flat umbels of numerous tiny white flowers; stem is grooved, woolly, hollow, and stout. This is the largest species of the carrot family in North America. The genus is named for Hercules, who is reputed to have used these plants for medicine. Early in each year, Native Americans peeled and ate the young sweet, aromatic leaf and flower stalks. (2) Rich damp soils of prairies and mountains, especially along streams ad in open woods in Western N. America. N. America to W. Asia. Heracleum montanum is a perennial growing to 2.4 m (7ft 10in). It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in July, and the seeds ripen in August. (3)Heracleum lanatum is a big hairy coarse member of the parsley family. They can grow up to 7 feet. They form large umbels of white flowers, sometimes a foot across. The flowers mature into large flat seeds. It’s stems are hollow. The root is both large and strong scented with a celery smell. The inner pith of the root is light colored and a bit soapy. The taste of the seeds and root are almost unbearable, leaving a numbing senation afterwards. It has large lime-colored leaves. The leaves are either palmate or three leaved. Its stems can be 2 inches around. Watch for it in the middle forests of California, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Montana. It is quite common in the coastal ranges of California. It prefers to be near water. In the southwest it is usually found aboe 8,500 feet and further north in Montana, above 5,000 feet.(4) 
Warnings: Many members of this genus, including many sub-species in this species, conatain furaocoumarins. These have carcinogenic, mutagenic and phototoxic properties. The fresh foliage can cause dermatitis. If the juice and hairs of the outer skin are left on the face or mouth, they can cause blister. This effect is especially revaent for people with fair complexions. (5)
Edible Uses:Root – cooked. Tastes like a swede. Used like potatoes, though it is considered to be poisonous by some writers. The peeled stem can be eaten raw but is best cooked. The unpeeled stem can be used when young, or just the inner tissue of older stems can be used, before the plants flower. For people not used to the flavour, they are best cooked in two changes of water when they make a tasty celery-like vegetable. Another report says that, despite the strong odour of the leaves and outer skin, the peeled young stems are mild and sweet, resembling celery in flavour. The stems cannot be eaten raw in large quantities because they give a burning sensation in the mouth. The stems are highly nutritious, containing up to 18% protein. Leaves and young shoots – raw or cooked. Cooked as greens or added to salads. Young flowers. No further details. The dried seeds are used as a flavouring for soups, stews and potato salads. The dried base of the plant and ashes from the burnt leaves are used as a salt substitute. (6) After a long hard winter with highly starchy foods and meat, Native Americans welcomed the coming of Spring, and the appearance of green shoots of Cow Parsnip, fern, wild celery and the first leaves of sunflower. They were carefully cooked as asparagus would be. (7)
Medicinal Uses :Cow parsnip was widely employed medicinally by a large number of native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a wide variety of complaints, but especially as a poultice on bruises, sores etc. It is little used in modern herbalism, though perhaps it merits further investigation. All parts of the plant are antirheumatic, antispasmodic, carminative, febrifuge, odontalgic and stimulant. The leaves are tonic. They have been used in the treatment of colds. A soothing drink made from the leaves is used to treat sore throats. A poultice of the heated leaves has been applied to minor cuts, sore muscles etc. An infusion of the fresh young stems has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea. It has also been used as a wash to remove warts. The plant has been used in the treatment of epilepsy. A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of indigestion, colds, stomach cramps, rheumatism, sore throats, TB etc. Externally, the root is used as a poultice on sores, bruises, swellings, boils, rheumatic joints, VD scabs etc, whilst a bit of root has been held on an aching tooth to reduce the pain. The root can be crushed, mixed with water and used as an antidandruff hair wash. The root contains psoralen, which is being investigated for its use in the treatment of psoriasis, leukaemia and AIDS. The seed has been used to treat severe headaches. ( 8 )Collect the roots of the plants in late August or September and collect the seeds when they are ripe. The seeds are ripe when they are ribbed with dark stripes and this is usually in Julyor August. For the roots, split them and dry them in a cheesecloth pocket in the shade. The seed is easier, take them in clusters and when dry, rub them off the stem. This plant is basically a remedy for the stomach and nervous systems. The seed tincture can be applied topically to teeth and gums as an anesthetic and anti-microbial. It can also be used on a sore tooth, similar to oil of cloves. To make the seed tincture use 1 part dried seed to 2 parts 60% vodka, by weight, allow it to sit for a week before use and shake it daily. After the root has dried it loses its acridity. Never take the root internally before it is thoroughly dried, but you can make a tincture of it using 1 part fresh root to 2 parts 60% vodka and follow the above procedure. For the dried root use 1 part dried root to 5 parts 60% vodka, allow it to sit for a week and shake daily. It can be taken at 20 to 30 drops up to 3 times a day. The seed tincture can be used to treat stomach problems, it only takes a couple of drops on the tongue. The dry root tincture will treat a hiatal hernia, just use a small amount in a glass of water. The fresh root applied to bath water has been used to treat paralysis. It should be repeated daily until nerve function returns or it doesn’t seem to help. The fresh root can also be used to treat tic douloureux or trigeminal neuralgia to do this either use a poultice or a very strong tea and apply it to the face. This works well if there is some motor paralysis invloved. The dried ground root can also be taken in tea; a teaspoon to a cup, for persistant nausea. (9)
Other Uses:
A stalk of this plant was placed on the alter of the Sun Dance ceremony. (10)
Foot Notes: (1, 7, 10) Indian Uses of Native Plants
by Edith Murphey, page 23, 50; Publisher: Meyerbooks Copy right 1990; ISBN 0-916638-15-4

Foot Notes:
Foot Notes: (3, 5, 6, 8)

Foot Notes:
(4, 9) Medical Plants of the Moutain West2nd Edition, by Michael Moore, pages 99 -102; Publisher: Museum of New Mexico Press, Copyright 2003, ISBN: 978-0-89013-454-2

Common Name: Cow Parsnip (H. sphondylium)
Appearance and Habitat:
Moist grassland and ditches, bu hedges and woods in Europe, including Britain, south to latitude 61 to western N. Africa, west and north to Asia. A biennial / perennial growing to 1.8 m (6ft).
It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to September, and the seeds ripen from Jul to October.

Warnings: Many members of this genus, including many sub-species in this species, conatain furaocoumarins. These have carcinogenic, mutagenic and phototoxic properties.
Edible Uses:Stem and young shoots – raw or cooked. Used as a green vegetable, when harvested just as they are sprouting from the ground they are somewhat like asparagus in flavour. The rind is somewhat acrid. The leaf stems are tied in bundles and dried in the sun until they turn yellow. A sweet substance resembling sugar forms on the dried stems and is considered to be a great delicacy. The peduncles, before flowering, can be eaten as a vegetable or added to soups. Root – cooked. It is usually boiled
Medicinal Uses :
The roots and the leaves are aphrodisiac, digestive, mildly expectorant and sedative. The plant is little used in modern herbalism but has been employed in the treatment of laryngitis and bronchitis. A tincture made from the aerial parts of the plant has also been used to relieve general debility, though it is uncertain how it works. The plant is harvested as it comes into flower and can be dried for later use.

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