Monday, May 5, 2008

Jack and Solomon

Jack-in-the-pulpit in the first two photos and Solomon's seal in the last two.

Jack-in-the-pulpit is a stemless plant, 8 inches to 2 feet tall, that grows in the woods. It has one or two long-stalked, 3-parted slick and shiny leaves; and at the tip of its flowerstalk, which is not quite as long as the leaves, it has a peculiar flowering structure, tinted shades of green, greenish-white, and purple.

The plant contains calcium oxalate crystals in all parts, and because of this consumption of the raw plant material results in a powerful burning sensation. It can cause irritation of the mouth and digestive system, and on rare occasions the swelling of the mouth and throat may be severe enough to affect breathing. Cattle should not be allowed to forage where Jack-in-the-pulpits is among the few green things growing.

If the plant is properly dried or cooked it can be eaten as a root vegetable.
A preparation of the root was reported to have been used by Indians as a treatment for sore eyes. Preparations were also made to treat bronchitis, rheumatism, and snakebites, as well as to induce sterility

Solomon's seal is a perennial native herb found growing in moist sandy, loamy or rocky woods and thickets. Stems grow to a height of from 18 inches to 2 feet, or even more and bend over gracefully. Large, light green, and broad ovate leaves grow alternately on the stem, clasping it at the bases. Flowers bloom April to June.

The dried herb is supposedly a laxative and restorative, and is good in inflammations of the stomach, indigestion, profuse menstruation, lung ailments, general debility, bowels, piles, and chronic dysentery. A medicinal poultice of the fresh roots is said to fade bruises, also applied to cuts and sores.


Ferreira-Pinto said...

Fantastic. Not only the photos were superb, but I also see you are a "connaisseur" of your plants and it's medical use. Loved the post.

becky aka theRAV said...

Hi! Thanks for commenting on my Odd Shot today. I went thru your blog because my husband is from Salem, Indiana! I love your photography esp the pink dogwoods as well as your colorful quilts. I used to love going thru my grandmother's buttons and have them now. I have put the really special ones on a black vest, collaged them on toilet paper rolls to make a napkin holder which I dearly love now. We still patch our jeans. In fact I had a post called "I'm on the Patch". I had bought a beautiful abstract patch from Walmart! I went back & saw you had post a photo of Spring Mill. We have been to a family reunion there so I was excited to see that photo.

Barb said...

Very neat entry, I learned a lot just by reading your Jack and Solomon, thank you! How's the bunny doing?

dot said...

Very unusual looking plants! Hope the little bunny is doing ok.