- Aquilegia vulgaris L.
- Aquilegia canadensis L.
- Buttercup family
Parts Usually Used
Description of Plant(s) and Culture
Columbine is a perennial, herbaceous plant; its prominently branching
stem is sparsely hairy and grows from 1 to 2 1/2 feet high. Both the
basal and lower stem leaves are shaggy-haired underneath and biternate,
with the leaflets or ultimate segments broadly wedge-shaped. The nodding
blue, purple, or white flowers grow at the ends of the branches during
the summer. Their 5 petals have characeristic nectar-containing, backward-projecting
spurs about 3/4 inch long. Bloom in May.
Originally came from Europe to be naturalized in the eastern United
States. In moist, rich woods, wet, shaded rocky outcrops. Southern
Astringent, diuretic, diaphoretic, anodyne
A decoction of the root helps stop diarrhea.
The flowers taken with wine promote perspiration, and the seeds with
wine are said to speed the delivery of a child, opens obstructions
of the liver, good for jaundice,
relieve kidney stones. Leaves are sometimes used in lotions to soothe
sores in the mouth and
throat. A lotion made from the fresh root is rubbed on the affected
area to relieve rheumatic aches
Native Americans used minute amounts of crushed seeds for headaches,
love charms, and fevers. Seeds rubbed into the hair to control lice.
Root chewed or weak tea for diarrhea, stomach
troubles, diuretic. Root tea for uterine bleeding.
Formulas or Dosages
Infusion: steep 1 tsp. plant parts in 1 cup water. Take 1
tbsp., 3-6 times a day.
Tincture: a dose is from 5-10 drops.