Health Benefits of Larkspur

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Larkspur Quick Facts
Name: Larkspur
Scientific Name: Consolida regalis
An annual herb native to Europe, but has become naturalized in the northern states of the U.S.A. The American species are known either as Tall larkspurs, which are 3–7 ft. in height and grow in moist places of higher altitudes and bloom in summer; or Low larkspur, which are found in open or exposed places to an elevation of 3,000 ft. Only four species of the seventy-nine native to North America occur east of the Mississippi, the majority being western in distribution, often in small areas.

The leaves are palmate and variously cut or divided. The flowers are mostly blue, but some are scarlet, red, bluish, white, or even yellow, in cultivated forms. Flower forms in groups along a single stalk like gladioli and color ranges from whites and yellows to deep reds, purples and blues. Each flower has five petals and a protruding centers its spur. The corolla consists of two sets of two petals each, the lower bearing a slender claw extending into the large calyx spur. The root is simple and slender; capsule-fruit or seed. Odour faint; taste bitter, then biting, acrid. Perennial larkspurs tend towards blue flowers but vary to pink, red, white and yellow.

Habitat

The plant is grown on sandy or chalky soils and found at an altitude of 0 to 1200 meters above sea level. It is found in dry weedy places and roadside ditches and in cereal crop fields. The species is grown as an ornamental plant. Seeds are mildly diuretic, anthelmintic, vasodilator, purgative and hypnotic.

Facts About Larkspur

Name Larkspur
Scientific Name Consolida regalis
Common/English Name Lark’s Heel, Lark’s Claw, Larkspur, Knight’s Spur, Royal knight’s-spur, Rocket-larkspur, Forking larkspur, Field larkspur, Branching larkspur, Staggerweed, Delphinium, Stavesacre
Name in Other Languages German: Acker-Ritterspor, Ackerrittersporn, Rispiger Feldrittersporn;
Danish: Korn-ridderspore;
French: Dauphinelle consoude;
English: Field larkspur, Forking larkspur, Rocket larkspur, Royal knight’s-spur;
Czech: Ostrožka stra;
Denmark: Korn-ridderspore;
Poland: Ostr¢zeczka polna
Norway: kerridderspore
Sweden: Riddarsporre
Plant Growth Habit Annual herbaceous plant
Plant Size 30–80 cm (12–31 in) high
Stem Erect, hairy
Leaf Alternately arranged
Medicinal parts The root and seeds
Flowering Season May through August
Flower Dark blue or purple

Uses

The Hopi tribes used the pollen of S. Scaposum, by grinding the flowers with corn to make blue meal (blue pollen). Seldom used internally and only when prescribed by physicians of experience.

The flowers and leaves were extensively used in the United States army during the rebellion to kill lice and it is pretty well authenticated that the same substance forms the basis of many preparations offered for the destruction of all noxious insects whose room is better than their company. Dr. Brown: “A tincture of the seeds, it is said, will cure Asthma and Dropsy, also a specific for cholera morbus.”

Dose

1 oz. of the seeds added to 1 quart of diluted alcohol makes the tincture, of which 10 drops may be given three times a day. This, however, should be used only in extreme cases, and with the approval of persons of knowledge on the subject.

Russian Experience

Szivokost, or Alive Bone, is Russia’s Larkspur. They use the herb and flower, but with caution, as Delphinium is very poisonous. However, it has its useful place in Herbal practice if the “how and when” are observed.

Folk Medicine

  • As a poultice and wash, but very carefully given.
  • For enlarged liver, stomach and intestinal trouble, urinary system, and venereal diseases.
  • Decoction of Delphinium for inflammation of the lungs, pleurisy, headaches, tapeworm, female sickness, chronic coughs, toothaches, and when frightened.
  • It is used externally to eliminate skin parasites.
  • Leaves juice are effective for bleeding piles.

Dose

20 grams to 4 cups of boiling water; do not drink more than 3 cups a day, a mouthful at a time. Decoction of the flower as a poultice when eyes are inflamed with pus. The same decoction as a tea for cramps, convulsions, amenorrhoea.

Clinically

As tablets, ampoules and powder in compounds when muscle tension, or excitement, after operations when the brain and central nerve system has expended involuntary vital energy, Parkinson’s disease, spreading sclerosis, paralysis. Also used in surgery combined with narcotics.

Industrial

A dye of especially beautiful blue colour for silks and woollens is made for the textile industry; also blue writing ink.

References:

https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=70198

https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Consolida+regalis

https://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/l/larksp09.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consolida_regalis

http://temperate.theferns.info/plant/Consolida+regalis

https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/113429

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consolida_regalis

https://www.farmersalmanac.com/july-flower-lore-12286

http://medicinalherbinfo.org/000Herbs2016/1herbs/larkspur/

https://navajorange.nmsu.edu/detail.php?id=150

http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/c/consolida-ambigua=larkspur.php

https://www.britannica.com/plant/larkspur-plant

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