Both the flowering stems and the root-bark are used medicinally. They are abortifacient, anthelmintic, antispasmodic, aromatic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, galactogogue, stimulant and tonic. The plant is used both internally and externally in the treatment of skin diseases (especially scabies and eczema), German measles, arthritic pain and jaundice. It is little used in Western herbalism nowadays, though it has been recommended for use in nervous complaints, intermittent fevers, scrofulous and scorbutic diseases. Use with caution, in large doses it is poisonous. The root bark is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. An infusion of the leaves is used as a tea substitute and is a good digestive.A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh leaves. It is used in the treatment of female complaints and constipation.
Division in spring. Take care since the plant resents root disturbance. The plant can also be divided in autumn. We have found it best to tease out divisions from the side of the clump to avoid the need to dig up the main clump. Try to get divisions that already have formed roots. Pot them up in a greenhouse and grow them on for a year to make sure they are well established before planting them out.Root cuttings in November/December.
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A very ornamental plant, it should be planted into its permanent position as soon as possible because it dislikes root disturbance. The whole plant contains a very aromatic essential oil, giving out a scent somewhat like lemon peel. When the plant is bruised, this smell becomes more like fine balsam. This essential oil is emitted from the plant in hot weather and, on a still day, can be ignited and will burn for a second or two without harming the plant, thus giving the plant its common name. Slugs are strongly attracted to this plant and can destroy it by eating all the young growth in spring[K]. There are at least 2 named varieties, 'Pink' produces a tea with a less lemony flavour but with an added taste of almonds and vanilla, 'White' has a lemony fragrance and taste.The flowers are very attractive to bees.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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Polycultures & Guilds
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