A Spring Flower With Green And White Striped Leaves Buy Pipsissewa Herb For Kidneys, Urinary Tract and Other Benefits

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Buy Pipsissewa Herb For Kidneys, Urinary Tract and Other Benefits

Pipiseseva

Chimaphila threshold

Pyrolaceae (winter green family)

If you’ve ever played the old Uncle Wiggly board game, you probably remember the line “Uncle Wiggly took three steps and the evil Pippiseva trembled and moved.” This beautiful creeping evergreen herb certainly does not deserve its bad guy reputation! Its Algonquian Indian name, pipsissewa, comes from a Canadian Cree word meaning “to break it into small pieces,” such as breaking up a bladder stone. His official family name, Chimaphila, means “winter-loving” because these small shrub-like plants stand out in the winter snow. species name, umbellataPointing to their small umbrella-like flowers.

Also called wintergreen, ground-holly, wax-flower, and prince pine, pipiseva is native to eastern forests and grows in mixed hardwood forests. Stems can stand up to ten inches tall, bearing one to three small, fragrant, drooping, white to pink flowers in mid-summer. These small, waxy flowers eventually become erect in the form of a climax and become woody and fibrous as each plant bears its ripened seedpod. Striped or Spotted Pipsiseva, Chimaphila maculataAlso called Ratsbane or rheumatic root, is a close relative.

Traditional Uses:

Local people chew and sometimes smoke the leathery leaves of pipsiseva to treat many conditions. The leaves and roots are steeped in a strong tea (decoction), sometimes made with other local herbs, to relieve coughs, colds, bladder complaints and kidney problems. Eastern Algonquians use the tea as a diuretic, astringent, and sudorific (increasing sweating) for other medicines, to relieve PMS problems, and for sweat baths. Iroquois herbalists used it to treat stomach cancer and arthritis. Some tribes use a decoction of the leaves to treat eye problems and drink it as a spring tonic. Found on the west coast, from British Columbia to southern California and west to Idaho C. menziesii, a pumpkin, often a variegated species that grows up to six inches tall. The Thompson Indians of British Columbia made poultices of the whole pulverized plant to reduce swelling in the joints, legs, and feet. The natives also poultice the leaves on skin tumors, ulcers and muscle pains, especially as a remedy for back pain.

Modern Uses:

A decoction made from pipsiseva leaves was a basic ingredient in traditional root beer, and pipsiseva extract is used as a flavoring agent in some candies and soft drinks, as well as in various health care products. It gives an earthy, musky taste.

Warning:

The biologically active compounds arbutin, sitosterol and ursolic acid may provide various therapeutic benefits but irritate sensitive skin.

Growth Requirements and Propagation:

Pipsissewa adapted to dry forests and sandy soil. In most of our northern temperate regions, their bright green toothed leaves are a sign of recovery from winter snow. However, pipsissewa is now threatened in its natural range, making it especially important to cultivate it in our medicine wheel gardens. It is difficult to propagate from seed. Propagate through one-inch pieces of underground rootstock left under leaf mulch.

Mate:

Pipsiceva grows well with most shade-loving plants in the medicine wheel garden, especially maple and maidenhair fern.

When a pregnant woman feels feverish and drowsy, she is not sick, her baby is. Using the whole plant make a small bundle of pipsisway about an inch thick. Add one and a half quarts of water to soak it. Take one cupful four times a day until it is used up.

– Sam Hill, Onondaga Herbalist, Six Nations Reserve, 1912

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