Flower heads, harvested before the flowers open, have been used as a globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) substitute. The flower heads are rather small and using them in this way is very fiddly[K]. Root - boiled as a pot herb.The herb is used as a flavouring (the part that is used is not specified).
The whole plant is astringent, bitter, cholagogue, diaphoretic, diuretic, strongly emetic in large doses, emmenagogue, galactogogue, stimulant, stomachic and tonic. A warm infusion of the plant is said to be one of the most effective means of improving the milk supply of a nursing mother. An infusion of the whole plant has also been used as a contraceptive and is often used in the treatment of liver and gall bladder problems. The plant is also used internally in the treatment of anorexia, poor appetite associated with depression, dyspepsia, flatulent colic etc. The whole plant was infused overnight in cold water and the liquid drunk three times daily in the treatment of VD. Men were required to run after each dose in order to encourage sweating. The treatment often caused nausea and vomiting - excessive doses of the plant cause vomiting. The plant is used externally in the treatment of wounds and ulcers. The plant is harvested in the summer as it comes into flower and is dried for later use.A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant. It is used in the treatment of the liver and gall bladder.
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