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Purple loosestrife

Purple loosestrife

B640/0095

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Credit

MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Purple loosestrife. Flowering purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria, a medicinal plant. Its flowering tops are used to treat intestinal infections, particularly enteritis. Its leaves were used to make compresses for treating wounds. Its powdered leaves are used to reduce bleeding, particularly nosebleeds, and as a cosmetic treatment for reddened skin. The young branches were once given to children for chewing in order to strengthen weak and bleeding gums. L. salicaria grows wild in Europe and Britain, especially along the banks of watercourses. Its medicinal parts are usually collected in summer when the plant is flowering.

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