The leaves are astringent, febrifuge, sedative, tonic and vermifuge. They are useful in dispersing swellings of the joints from acute rheumatism, and of the testes from suppressed gonorrhoea. The juice of the leaves is used for removing foetid discharges and worms from ulcers, whilst an oil prepared with the leaf juice is applied to sinuses and scrofulous sores.They are harvested in early summer and used fresh or dried. A decoction of the stems is used in the treatment of burns and scalds. The dried fruit is vermifuge. The fruit is also used in the treatment of angina, colds, coughs, rheumatic difficulties etc. The fresh berries are pounded to a pulp and used in the form of a tincture for the relief of paralysis, pains in the limbs, weakness etc. The root is expectorant, febrifuge and tonic. It is used in the treatment of colds and rheumatic ailments. It is harvested in late summer and autumn, and dried for later use.The plant is said to be a malarial preventative and is also used in the treatment of bacterial dysentery - extracts of the leaves have shown bactericidal and antitumor activity.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 8cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Good percentage.Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth, November in a cold frame.
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Plants tolerate temperatures down to about -10°c. They are not very hardy in Britain, they succeed outdoors at Kew[K], but in general are best given the protection of a sunny wall outside the milder areas of the country. Plants only flower freely after a warm summer, so they are best grown against a sunny wall even in areas where they are hardy. The flowers are produced so late in the season that they are unlikely to produce viable seed in this country even if they flower properly[K]. The plants require abundant summer sunshine in order to ripen their wood fully, the well-ripened wood is more frost resistant. There are some named forms, selected for their ornamental value.The leaves and stems are strongly aromatic. The flowers have a most pronounced musk-like perfume.
Problems, pests & diseases
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