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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. ) 
#148
Common Name: Chicory
Latin Name:
Cichorium intybus
Family: Asteraceae
Range:
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CIIN
All of the lower 48 States, all of lower Canada.
Photos: Here
Appearance and Habitat: An introduced species. It is erect, perennial, 1′-6′ tall forb with milky juice; stems widely branched; long taproot. The leaf is alternate, entire to pinnately-divided, becoming smaller toward the top. The flower heads are up to 1 1/2″ wide with many blue to white rays, no disk; inflorescence of 1-3 widely spaced heads from upper leaf axils; blooms July-Oct. It is usually found on disturbed sites, roadsides.(1)Grassy meadows and arable land, especially on chalk in Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to N. Africa and W. Asia. A perennial growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in). It is hardy to zone 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to October, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October.(2)A scruffly looking plant with several 2 to 3 foot stems, with the foliage widely spaced along the stems. It’s range is unpredictable, from below 1,000 feet in Southern California to high grazing pastures at 9,300 feet in Montana. It is found in farming and pasture lands in all of the states.(3)
Warnings: Excessive and continued use may impair function of the retina. Slight potential for sensitization. (4) No toxic protential to Chicory and large quantities can be used.  (5)
Edible Uses:Leaves – raw or cooked. The leaves are rather bitter, especially when the plants are flowering. The leaves are often blanched by excluding light, either by removing all the leaves and then earthing up the new growth, or by covering the plant with a bucket or something similar. Whilst this greatly reduces any bitterness, there is also a corresponding loss of vitamins and minerals. The blanched leaves are often used in winter salads (they are known as chicons) and are also cooked. The unblanched leaves are much less bitter in winter and make an excellent addition to salads at this time of year. A nutritional analysis of the leaves is available. Flowers – raw. An attractive addition to the salad bowl, but rather bitter. Root – cooked like parsnip. The boiled young roots form a very palatable vegetable. The root is said to be an ideal food for diabetics because of its inulin content. Inulin is a starch that cannot be digested by humans, it tends to pass straight through the digestive system and is therefore unlikely to be of use to a diabetic. However, the inulin can be used to make a sweetener that is suitable for diabetics to use. Chicory-root is free of harmful ingredients, and is essentially a concentrated combination of three sugars (pentose, levulose and dextrose) along with taraxarcine (the bitter principle of dandelion). It is especially important as source of levulose. Roots are used in seasoning soups, sauces and gravies, and to impart a rich deep colour. The roasted root is used as a caffeine-free coffee adulterant or substitute. Young roots have a slightly bitter caramel flavour when roasted, roots over 2 years old are much more bitter. (6)  For use as coffee, dry the roots and cut them sideways into small sections, then roast in an oven at 350 degrees, then run through a coffee mill or blender. This should be done before they are in flower. (7)
Medicinal Uses :Chicory has a long history of herbal use and is especially of great value for its tonic affect upon the liver and digestive tract. It is little used in modern herbalism, though it is often used as part of the diet. The root and the leaves are appetizer, cholagogue, depurative, digestive, diuretic, hypoglycaemic, laxative and tonic. The roots are more active medicinally. A decoction of the root has proved to be of benefit in the treatment of jaundice, liver enlargement, gout and rheumatism. A decoction of the freshly harvested plant is used for treating gravel. The root can be used fresh or dried, it is best harvested in the autumn. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can also be dried for later use. The root extracts have experimentally produced a slower and weaker heart rate (pulse). The plant merits research for use in heart irregularities. The plant is used in Bach flower remedies – the keywords for prescribing it are ‘Possessiveness’, ‘Self-love’ and ‘Self-pity’. The latex in the stems is applied to warts in order to destroy them[218]. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Cichorium intybus for loss of appetite, dyspepsia. ( 8 )Collect the tap roots in the spring of second year plants. Split the roots once or twice, while fresh, and dry them in a shallow box or on newspaper in the shade. The root is a safe and effective diuretic. It increases urin flow and can be used to treat kidney stones and gravel. To use, boil an ounce of the chopped, dried roots in a quart of water and drink it in several doses during the day. Each dose can be up to 3 to 6 ounces at a rate of 4 times daily. You can also drink two tablespoons of the tincture in water twice a day.(9)
Foot Notes: (1)http://wisplants.uwsp.edu/scripts/detail.asp?SpCode=CICINT
Foot Notes: (2, 4, 6, 8 ) http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Cichorium+intybus
Foot Notes: ( 3, 5, 7, 9 ) Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West by Michael Moore, pages 80 – 82, Publisher: Museum of New Mexico Press, Copyright 2003, ISBN 0-89013-454-5
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#149
Common Name: Gentian, Blue Gentian, Fringed Gentian, Gall Plant,
Latin Name:
Gentiana affinis, G algida,   G. andrewsii, G. calycosa, G. parryi, G. saponaria, Gentianella amarella, G. quinquefolia, G. tenella, Gentianopis simples, G. thermalis
Family: Gentianaceae
Range:
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=GENTI
This is the usda main data base for Gentiana only, all States, except Hawaii; all Canadian Provinces, except Nunavut, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=GEAF> All States west of the Rocky Mountains, plus N. and S. Dakota, Minnesota and Texas; In Canada; British Columbia to Manitoba and Northwest Territories. (Gentiana affinis)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=GEAL2 Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico; In Canada; Yukon. (Gentiana algida)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=GEAN All States north of the Ohio R. and north into New England, except Maine, plus Minnesota to Missouri, North Dakota to Nebraska, Colorado, Kentucky, W. Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey; In Canada; Saskatchewan to Quebec. (Gentiana andrewsii)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=GECA Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California; In Canada; British Columbia and Alberta. (Gentiana calycosa)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=GEPA Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. (Gentiana parryi)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=GESA All States east of the Mississippi R., except north of New York and Wisconsin. (Gentiana saponaria)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=GEAMH Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Arizona and New Mexico. (Gentianella amarella)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=GEQUQ New England south to Pennsylvania and New Jersey, plus Maryland, W. Virginia, Virginia, N. and S. Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee; In Canada; Ontario. (Gentianella quinquefolia)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=GEQUO States along both banks of the Mississippi R. (except Louisiana), plus Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia and Nebraska; In Canada; Ontario. (Gentianella quinquefolia)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=GETET All States west of the Rocky Mountains, plus Alaska; In Canada; British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Ontario and Quebec. (Gentianella tenella)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=GESI3 Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and California. (Gentianopsis simplex)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=GETH Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. (Gentianopsis thermalis)
Photos: ( click on link after Common name)

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#149(a)
Common Name: Closed Bottle Gentian, Closed Gentian (Gentiana andrewsii)

Appearance and Habitat:
Closed bottle gentian is a 1-2 ft. plant with narrow, purplish leaves whorled or opposite below clusters of purple flowers which stay closed. Dark blue, bottle-like, cylindrical flowers, nearly closed at tips, in tight clusters atop stem and sometimes in axils of upper leaves. Robust plants may have two whorls of flowers. When in full bloom, the flower looks like a bud about to open. This is one of our most common perennial gentians and the easiest to grow in a moist wildflower garden. Other bottle gentians include a very similar species, Blind Gentian (G. clausa), in which the bands are not longer than the petals. Narrow-leaved Gentian (G. linearis), which occurs chiefly in the north and in the mountains as far south as West Virginia, has very narrow leaves and open flowers. The flowers of Soapwort Gentian (G. saponaria) are light blue and slightly open at the tip; this midwestern species has soapy juice. Stiff Gentian (Gentianella quinquefolia), an annual, has light blue or lilac, open flowers with bristle-pointed, fringeless lobes and a 4-sided stem; it occurs from southwestern Maine south to Florida and from southern Ontario to Missouri, Louisiana, and southern Tennessee.(1)  Meadows, damp prairies and low thickets in Eastern N. America – Quebec to Manitoba, Georgia and Nebraska. It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from Jul to August.(2)
Warnings: None (3)
Edible Uses: None (4)
Medicinal Uses :The root is said to be an antidote to snakebites. An infusion of the roots has been used as a wash and also taken internally in the treatment of pain and headaches. An infusion of the roots has been used as drops for sore eyes. This N. American species has medicinal properties practically identical with the European gentians. The following notes are based on the general uses of G. lutea which is the most commonly used species in the West. Gentian root has a long history of use as a herbal bitter in the treatment of digestive disorders and is an ingredient of many proprietary medicines. It contains some of the most bitter compounds known and is used as a scientific basis for measuring bitterness. It is especially useful in states of exhaustion from chronic disease and in all cases of debility, weakness of the digestive system and lack of appetite. It is one of the best strengtheners of the human system, stimulating the liver, gall bladder and digestive system, and is an excellent tonic to combine with a purgative in order to prevent its debilitating effects. The root is anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, bitter tonic, cholagogue, emmenagogue, febrifuge, refrigerant, stomachic. It is taken internally in the treatment of liver complaints, indigestion, gastric infections and anorexia. It should not be prescribed for patients with gastric or duodenal ulcers. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. It is quite likely that the roots of plants that have not flowered are the richest in medicinal properties. (5)
Foot Notes: (1)http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=GEAN
Foot Notes: (2, 3, 4, 5)http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Gentiana+andrewsii
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#149(b)
Common Name: Harvestbells, Soapwort Gentian, (Gentiana saponaria)

Appearance and Habitat: Harvestbells or soapwort gentian, a perennial, grows 8-20 in. tall, having light-green, opposite, lance-shade leaves on slender stems. The blue-violet flowers are bottle-shaped, opening only partly, and occur in terminal or axillary clusters.(1)  Wet soils in woodlands in Eastern N. America – Ontario to Minnesota, Connecticut, Florida and Louisiana. It is hardy to zone 5. It is in flower from Aug to October.(2)
Warnings: None (3)
Edible Uses: None (4)
Medicinal Uses :The root is said to be an antidote to snakebites. This N. American species has medicinal properties practically identical with the European gentians. The following notes are based on the general uses of G. lutea which is the most commonly used species in the West. Gentian root has a long history of use as a herbal bitter in the treatment of digestive disorders and is an ingredient of many proprietary medicines. It contains some of the most bitter compounds known and is used as a scientific basis for measuring bitterness. It is especially useful in states of exhaustion from chronic disease and in all cases of debility, weakness of the digestive system and lack of appetite. It is one of the best strengtheners of the human system, stimulating the liver, gall bladder and digestive system, and is an excellent tonic to combine with a purgative in order to prevent its debilitating effects. The root is anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, bitter tonic, cholagogue, emmenagogue, febrifuge, refrigerant, stomachic. It is taken internally in the treatment of liver complaints, indigestion, gastric infections and anorexia. It should not be prescribed for patients with gastric or duodenal ulcers. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. It is quite likely that the roots of plants that have not flowered are the richest in medicinal properties.  (5)
Foot Notes: (1)http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=GESA
Foot Notes: (2, 3, 4, 5 )http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Gentiana+saponaria
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#149(c)
Common Name: Autumn Dwarf Gentian, Felwort (Gentianella amarella)

Appearance and Habitat:
An annual with lanceolate or oblanccolate leaves. It flowers in June through September and the flower color is blue to violet.(1)  Basic pastures, usually amongst short grass and dunes. Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to France, Hungary and the Caucasus. A biennial growing to 0.3 m (1ft). It is in flower from Aug to September, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October.(2)
Warnings: None (3)
Edible Uses:None (4)
Medicinal Uses :This species is one of several that can be used as a source of the medicinal gentian root. Gentian has a long history of use as a herbal bitter in the treatment of digestive disorders. It is especially useful in states of exhaustion from chronic disease and in all cases of debility, weakness of the digestive system and lack of appetite. It is one of the best strengtheners of the human system and is an excellent tonic to combine with a purgative in order to prevent its debilitating effects. The root is anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, bitter tonic, cholagogue, emmenagogue, febrifuge, refrigerant and stomachic. It is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. It is quite likely that the roots of plants that have not flowered are the richest in medicinal properties. The root is anodyne, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, bitter tonic, cholagogue, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, pectoral, refrigerant, stomachic. A substitute for G. lutea. The plant is used in Bach flower remedies – the keywords for prescribing it are ‘Doubt’, ‘Depression’ and ‘Discouragement”(5)
Foot Notes: (1)http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=GEAMH
Foot Notes: (2, 3, 4, 5) http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Gentianella+amarella
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#149(d)
Common Name: Agueweed, Stiff Gentain (Gentianella quinquefolia) and (Gentianella quinquefolia occidentalis)

Appearance and Habitat:
Stiff Gentian (Gentianella quinquefolia), an annual, has light blue or lilac, open flowers with bristle-pointed, fringe-less lobes and a 4-sided stem; it occurs from southwestern Maine south to Florida and from southern Ontario to Missouri, Louisiana, and southern Tennessee. quinquefolia sp quinquefolia
(1)  Little Gentian, reflecting its having been split off from the genus Gentiana because, while very similar, was of a different enough character and measurements to warrant its own genus. Quinquefolia is Latin for 5 leaved. An erect, perennial, 3″ – 16″ tall with purple to white flowers 5/8″ long, tubular-shaped with a small opening at the top, no folds between the petals; inflorescence mostly a tall, dense, branched cluster (cyme) at the ends of the stems and branches; blooms Aug.-Oct. The leaf is stalkless, opposite and lanced shaped. Found on dry prairies, woods, in limy soil. quiquefolia sp occidentalis(2)  Rich woods and moist fields in Eastern N. America – southern Ontario to Tennessee and Florida. It is an annual/biennial growing to 0.6 m (2ft). It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. (3)
Warnings: None
(4)
Edible Uses: None
(5)
Medicinal Uses :The root is cathartic, febrifuge, haemostatic, stimulant and stomachic. A tea or tincture of the root is a bitter tonic, used to stimulate the digestion and a poor appetite. An infusion has also been used to treat diarrhoea, sore chest, worms and haemorrhages. A homeopathic remedy is made from the root. It is used in the treatment of intermittent fevers and as a stomachic and tonic.  
(6)
Foot Notes: (1)http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=GEQUQ

Foot Notes: (2)http://wisplants.uwsp.edu/scripts/detail.asp?SpCode=GENQUI1sOCC
Foot Notes: ( 3, 4, 5, 6 )http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Gentianella+quinquefolia
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(Now For Michael Moore, who will cover the rest)

Photos : (More photos for Michael Moore ) (Gentiana affinis ) (Gentianopsis simplex )
(Gentianopsis thermalis ) (Gentianella tenella) (Gentiana calycosa) (Gentiana parryi) (Gentiana algida)
Appearance and Habitat:
This plant is very distinctive. It tends to smooth with a waxy appearance, usually less than a foot in height. Leafs are opposite, clasp the stem and bright green in color. In some species the leaves appear to be overlapping scales. The annuals usually form a single stem with thin roots, while the perennials have several stems and a root stock or tuber. The most common color for the flowers is purple-blue. The flowers form funnel shapes, tubular shapes and bell shapes. They sometimes have a single flower or flowers growing out of several leaf axils. Gentians habitat is wet meadows or bogs in the mountains of the west. In Montana watch for them at 6,000 feet and above. While in the New Mexico, watch for them at 8,000 feet and above.
Medicinal Uses : When collecting the perennials, collect the root and allow to dry loosely. When collecting the annuals, take the root and all. Tie them is bundles of 1/2 inch diameter for drying. All Gentians contain a bitter glycoside named gentiopicrin. They usually have several water-insoluble sterols – Gentiopicrin (treat malaria) and gentisic acid (treat rheumatic inflammations). Gentian is also an excellent stomach tonic, especially so for the person with chronic indigestion. Take it 30 minutes before a meal, as either tea or tincture. Use a 1/2 teaspoon, or a bit more, of the root or dried herb, and steep in water. Drinking it when it cools down. For the tincture, use 1 part fresh root with two parts 50% vodka, or for the dried root use 1 part dried root to 5 parts 50% vodka. Take 5 – 20 drops 30 minutes before each meal. For tinctures always let them set for a week, shaking them daily. Gentian can also be used for fevers and joint inflammations. One sign that Gentian will help is if you have a dry mouth, your tongue coated and have puffy gums, try some bitters. If you use too much Gentian at one time it might cause nausea, so don’t over do it.
Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West by Michael Moore, pages 122-125, Publisher: Museum of New Mexico Press, Copyright 2003, ISBN 0-89013-454-5

Reproduced, in part, (as well as previous postings under this title) in accordance with Section 107 of title 17 of the Copyright Law of the United States relating to fair-use and is for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.
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