Bird's Foot (herb)
Bird's Foot


Avis Pes. This herb groweth not above a span high, with many branches spread upon the ground, set with wings of small leaves into small jointed cods, resembling the claws of small birds, whence its name. There is another sort of Bird's foot like the former, but a little larger; the flower of a pale whitish red colour, and the cods distinct by joints like the other, but a little more crooked. They grow on heaths, and in open unfilled places. They flower and seed in the end of Summer.

The flowers are small, and of a pale yellow colour, being set a head together, which turneth Flagroot (Calamus).

Medicinal Uses:

They are of a drying, binding quality, and very good to be used in wound drinks; as also to apply outwardly for the same purpose. But the latter Bird's-foot is found by experience to break the stone, and drive them forth, if the decoction be taken; and it is very serviceable in ruptures, taken inwardly, and outwardly applied to the place. it has been effectual in the cure of intermittent fever and ague.

Its active principles are Tannin and Gallic Acid.

The powder or decoction of the roots is a most effectual remedy for profuse menstruation, and also for diabetes, and for fluor albus.

The decoction is an excellent gargle for scurvy in the gums, and ulcerated sore throat, and for washing. The leaves kill the worms in children. A dram of the powder of the root taken in water, in which red hot iron has been quenched, is a powerful remedy.

The dose of the powdered root is from I scruple to a drachm; of the decoction, from 1 to 2 ounces. It makes also an excellent injection when an astringent is required. The herb is invaluable; therefore no family should be without it.

Important Disclaimer:   The information contained on this web site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases. Any information presented is not a substitute for professional medical advice and should not take the place of any prescribed medication. Please do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consultation with your physician.

This page and the rest of the encyclopedia of medicinal herbs was reproduced from old herbals written in the 1700 and 1800s. They are of historical interest to show the traditional uses of various herbs based on folk medicine and ancient wisdom. However the traditional uses for these herbs have not been confirmed by medical science and in some cases may actually be dangerous. Do not use the these herbs for any use, medicinal or otherwise, without first consulting a qualified doctor.

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