An infusion of the whole plant is used as a hair and skin wash. It is said to be very beneficial to the skin and also to help prevent hair loss.A good fibre is obtained from the stems, it is inferior to flax (Linum usitatissimum) but is used for making cloth, nets, string, baskets, mats etc and in paper making. When used for paper making, the stems are harvested in late summer or autumn when they are two thirds yellow and are then retted. The fibre is then stripped from the stem, cooked for two hours or more with lye and then beaten in a Hollander beater.
The oil in the seed has soothing and lubricating properties, and is used in medicines to soothe tonsillitis, sore throats, coughs, colds, constipation, gravel and stones. When mixed with an equal quantity of lime water it is used to treat burns and scalds. A poultice of the fresh crushed leaves has been used to treat eye problems. A tincture of the entire plant is used in the treatment of diarrhoea. The fresh herb is boiled and taken internally for the treatment of rheumatic pains, heartburn, colds, coughs and dropsy. A poultice of the plant is applied to bruises to reduce the swelling. The seeds are emollient. An eye medicine is made from them.An infusion of the roots is used as an eyewash.
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A very ornamental plant, it is not generally very long-lived though it normally self-sows freely.The sub-species lewisii (which is seen as a separate species by some botanists or as no more than a synonym of this species by others) is more desirable for its fibre and has been cultivated by the N. American Indians for this purpose.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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Polycultures & Guilds
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This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
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