There are three kinds of Loosestrife; the yellow, the Hyssop-leaved, and the purple speckled. The common yellow Loosestrife, Lysimachia Vulgaris, grows about five feet high, with great round stalks, a little crested, diversely branched from the middle of them to the tops into great and long branches, on which, at the joints, grow long and narrow leaves, but broader below, and usually two at a joint, yet some­times three or four, somewhat like willow leaves, smooth on the edges, and a fair green colour from the upper joints of the branches, at the tops stand many beautiful yellow flowers, with yellow threads in the middle, which turn into small round heads, containing small cornered seeds, the root creeps under ground, almost like couch-grass. It grows in moist meadows, and by water-sides. It flowers from June to August.

Lythrum Salicaria. Purple loosestrife is also known by the name of Grass-polly. It grows with many woody square stalks full of joints, three feet high, on each stand two long leaves, shorter, narrower, and a greener colour than the former. The stalks branch into long stems of spiked flowers half a foot long, growing in bundles, one above another, out of small husks, like the spiked heads of lavender, each of which flowers have five round pointed leaves of a purple violet colour. The seeds are small and brown. The root creeps like the yellow, but it is larger. It grows by rivers, and ditch-sides, in wet grounds. It flowers in June and July.

Herbal Remedies and Medicinal Uses of Loosestrife:

For preserving the sight, and for the cure of sore eyes, this herb is fully, if not superior to Eye- bright. This I have found by experience. The distilled water is a present remedy for hurts and blows on the eyes, and for blindness, provided the crystalline humour be not injured or destroyed. This was experienced by an intelligent man, who kept it long as a great secret. It clears the eyes of dust, or any thing got into them, and preserves the sight. It is also very available against wounds, made into an ointment. To every ounce of water, add two drachms of May butter without salt, sugar and wax of each as much, boil them gently together; after it is cold, apply it on cloths to the wounds. It cleanses and heals ulcers and sores, and stays inflammations, by washing them with the water, and laying on them a green leaf or two in Summer, or dry leaves in Winter. The water gargled warm in the mouth, and drank, cures the quinsy, or scrofula in the throat.

This herb cures bleeding at the mouth, nose, or wounds, and the bloody flux, given either to drink, or taken by clysters; it restrains profuse menstruation, and is a very good wound-herb; the young leaves bruised and bound about a fresh wound, stay the bleeding, and quickly close together the lips of the wound. It has demulcent and astringent virtues, which render it useful in inveterate diarrhoea.—Dose of the powdered herb, 1 drachm three times a day; of the decoction 1 ounce of the herb boiled in a pint of water; take 2 ounces at a time. It is often used in gargling for sore mouths, The smoke of the herb burned, drives away flies and gnats, which in the night-time molest people dwelling near marshes, and in fenny countries.
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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