Sweetfern (Comptonia peregrina)

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ItalianBee
Posts: 199
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2014 4:38 pm

Sweetfern (Comptonia peregrina)

Postby ItalianBee » Thu Jun 18, 2015 7:12 am

I first learned of this herb about a year ago, but didn't manage to gather any until this year - there's only one place where I know it grows wild. I have dried it and it does make a nice tea. This is what I have found so far about its uses, from the Plants for a Future website (PFAF.org, new to me):

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.

The young fruits are eaten as a pleasant nibble[55, 62, 183]. The aromatic leaves, fresh or dried, are used to make a palatable tea[55, 62, 102, 183]. The leaves are also used as a seasoning[183].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Astringent; Blood purifier; Expectorant; Febrifuge; Odontalgic; Parasiticide; Poultice; Tonic.

Sweet fern was employed medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes who used it especially as a poultice to treat a variety of complaints[257]. It is still used for most of the same purposes in modern herbalism. The leaves are astringent, blood purifier, expectorant and tonic[21, 62, 222, 257]. A tea made from the leaves and flowering tops is used as a remedy for diarrhoea, headache, fevers, catarrh, vomiting of blood, rheumatism etc[213, 222, 257]. The infusion has also been used to treat ringworm[257]. The leaves have also been used as a poultice for toothaches, sprains etc[238, 257]. A cold water infusion of the leaves has been used externally to counter the effect of poison ivy[213, 222, 257] and to bathe stings, minor haemorrhages etc[238]. The leaves are harvested in early summer and dried for later use[238].
Other Uses
Incense; Lining; Parasiticide; Repellent.

The leaves are used as a lining in baskets etc in order to preserve the fruit[55]. The crushed leaves repel insects[102]. They can be thrown onto a camp fire to keep mosquitoes away[257]. The dried leaves have been burnt as an incense[257].


Does anybody else have any personal experience using this? It is a lovely plant and I should have gathered much more - there was plenty to spare.

Lady Alinor
Moderator
Posts: 416
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:15 pm

Re: Sweetfern (Comptonia peregrina)

Postby Lady Alinor » Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:34 pm

I love such information...current usage, traditional usage and ancient usage :D


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