The leaves of the small, beautiful windflower plant, which look like the anatomical lobules of the liver, were likely to inspire Renaissance physicians to use it for hepatic disorders.
Windflower Plant Scientific Facts
- Scientific Name: Anemone hepatica L.
- Other Names: Anemone.
- French: Herbe de la Trinité
- Spanish: Hepática.
- Environment: It grows in calcareous and mountainous soils all over Europe.
- Description: Vivacious plant of the Ranunculaceae family, growing from 10 to 25 cm high. The windflower does not have a stem. Instead, its leaves, divided into three lobules, grow directly from the plant’s base. Its flowers are light blue, pink, or white.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: Dry leaves.
The whole plant contains glycosides, saponin, and anemonol, a toxic substance when the plant is fresh. Windflower is anti-inflammatory and reduces the congestion of the liver, thus being an excellent remedy for hepatic afflictions (jaundice, hepatitis, cirrhosis, etc.). It also has diuretic properties.
However, at present, we know other more effective and less toxic plants; hence use in treating liver disorders has decreased. Nevertheless, other applications of this plant are still in use. In external applications, it is used as vulnerary and cicatrizant (healing agent) for wounds and skin sores.
The fresh plant is toxic. Never exceed the prescribed doses.
How to use Windflower
- Cold extract, with 30 grams of dry leaves per liter of water, steeping for twelve hours. Drink two to three cups sweetened with honey.
- Compresses soaked in the aforementioned cold extract, then applied to the affected skin area.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. Vols. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 383. Print. [windflower plant]