Spiderwort is a wildflower that grows wild in many places around the US. The tall, up to 4 feet, purple flowering wildflower looks a lot like a purple flower on the stem of a young corn plant. Its leaves and stem are very edible and so this flower is a wild source of food for humans! The flower and root can be made into herbal medicine. In the past, there is documentation of this plant being used to treat spider bites, hence the plant’s name. Spiderwort is actually in full bloom right now and will be through the month of July and can be found throughout the US in slightly dry to moist habitats. It is often found along the southern side of ditches, mixed across prairies, and growing in meadows. The use of the various species of Spiderwort by Native Americans lends credence to the probability of its use as a cure for symptoms arising from spider venomous bites.
The Cherokee Indians used the plant to make an herbal tea for the treatment of “female” type problems such as premenstrual cramps and symptoms and as a laxative to treat issues with the stomach and kidneys. The Lakota Indians made blue paint using the flowers that were used to decorate clothes, “Indian Paint’ is another name for this wildflower. Probably the most important information available is that a poultice can be made by crushing the leaves of the plants to be used as a treatment for insect bites and stings. This means spider bites, bees, ants, etc. So living in the country, as may be the most cases, you can be sure that this plant can be located and its natural medicine, untouched by genetically modification and unowned by any company, can be your healing aide.
Spiderwort is edible
Leaves – raw or cooked. The very young shoots and leaves can be chopped and added to salads or cooked as a potherb.
Flowers – raw. They make an attractive edible garnish.
Spiderwort is medicinal
The roots are laxative. They are also used as tea in the treatment of kidney and stomach ailments and “women’s” complaints. A poultice of the leaves is applied to stings, insect bites, and cancers.
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