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Alexanders Herb Health Benefits

Alexanders herb is similar to that of Angelica and is related to fennel, dill, sweet Cicely, cow parsley, lovage, carrots, caraway, anise, lesser and greater burnet saxifrage, water fennel or water dropwort and Thapsia to which it bears a strong resemblance with its yellow- green flowers.

 

The seeds are used as a condiment and all parts of the plant are edible.

 

The flowering tops can be eaten and cooked like broccoli for which it can be a substitute.

 

The unopened flower buds can be pickled and when this is done they look like mini-cauliflowers.

 

The seeds were often soaked in wine to create a tonic for scurvy when other sources of vitamin C were not available and also to promote menstruation. The root is a diuretic.

 

Alexanders root contains vitamin B12, Zinc, Thiamine, Sucrose, Riboflavin, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, Fructose, Glucose, and many other trace minerals.

 

Externally it is used as a medicinal gargle for sore throats and mouths and as a medicinal poultice for broken bones, swellings, itching and rheumatism.

 

It is a biennial or short lived perennial herb native to Eastern N. America from Newfoundland to Ontario and Minnesota, south to Delaware, Illinois, Iowa and Tennessee.

 

It is found in rich thickets, bottomlands, moist cool woodlands, stream banks and shady roadsides.

 

It has a smooth, dark purple, hollow stem 1 to 2 inches round.

 

The leaves are dark green, divided into three parts, each of which is again divided into three serrated leaflets, sometimes lobed.

 

The lower leaves are larger sometimes 2 feet wide.

 

The stems can also be cooked like asparagus, steamed or boiled for 5 to 10 minutes, and served as a side dish.

 

The plant grows in autumn and has leaves throughout the winter, so was a useful source of nourishment.

 

It is said that if the root is left in a cool place over winter it becomes tender and is good in soups and stews. The stems are a little more pungent than celery and the seeds are peppery.

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