Greek valerian

Polemonium reptans

Polemonium reptans is a flowering plant in the genus Polemonium, native to eastern North America. Common names include Abscess Root, Creeping or Spreading Jacob's Ladder, False Jacob's Ladder, American Greek Valerian, Blue bells, and Sweatroot.

It is a perennial herbaceous plant growing to 50 cm tall, with pinnate leaves up to 20 cm long with 5-13 leaflets. The flowers are blue to violet, 1.3 cm long, with a five-lobed corolla.

The dried roots have a slightly bitter and acrid taste. They are used internally in the treatment of coughs, colds, bronchitis, laryngitis, tuberculosis, feverish and inflammatory diseases, including skin conditions and poisonous bites. The root is rarely used in modern herbalism. It is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.


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