Skunk Cabbage - Uses and Benefits
Symplocarpus foetidus,fetid hellebore, Polecat weed, Dracontium foetidum L, Meadow Cabbage, Pole-Cat Cabbage, Skunkweed,collard, Stinking poke,Swamp cabbage.
Skunk Cabbage is one of the first herbal plants to bloom in the Spring,& can bloom anywhere from February to May .Skunk cabbage plants are common to find in the West Hylebos Wetlands.It is a low growing, foul smelling plant & looks very different from most other wildflowers. There is no petals on it but have a single leaf-like looking sheath called a "spathe" . In order to produce a flower, skunk cabbage produces heat which melts the snow or ice near by. The leaves emerge after the flowers. They generate unpleasant smell if they are crushed, hence the name called "skunk cabbage." Skunk cabbage is pollinated mostly by flies just like other dark-colored flowers.
Skunk cabbage leaves are large in size.Its leaves are said to be the largest deciduous leaves in North America, reaching to 40-55 cm long and 30-40 cm broad. These leaves were used like wax paper which lined steam pits by most First Nations people. Skunk cabbage used as a ground herb on splinters & thorns to heal skin wounds by American Indians. Skunk cabbage is an herbaceous plant used to treat asthma,cough, and other breathing disorders. It may be a slight sedative which causes relaxation or sleep.
Uses and Benefits
Skunk cabbage work as a narcotic for asthma & act as a diaphoretic to produce sweating, help bring up phlegm. and It's said to be good for arthritis, hysteria, edema, epilepsy, chorea.
Skunk cabbage used as a treatment in following disorders:
It is said to be beneficial during pregnancy and labour.It has an action to promote normal functional activity of the nervous structures. It works on nervous system to cure irritation . when applied as an ointment it works to relieve pain of external tumors & sore.
The root when used internally,it cure respiratory and nervous disorders .Externally, it has been worked as a poultice to draw splinters and thorns, to treat headaches & to heal wounds.From the root hairs a tea has been made to stop bleeding .An inhalation of the crushed leaves has been used in the problem of headaches.
Excess doses of skunk cabbage will cause the following problems:
Some persons may be allergic to skunk cabbage , and fresh plant can be cause redness, itching, or blistering of the skin if the fresh leave is touched because its very caustic .
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