Therapeutic Uses of Bitter Milkwort
Herb: Bitter Milkwort
Latin name: Polygala Amara
Polygala Amara is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the family Polygalaceae. They are commonly known as Milkworts or Snakeroots. Bitter Milkwort is a European perennial plant which usually has a simple stem of only 4-6 inches high, that rises from a rosette of obovate basal leaves. Terminal racemes of blue, sometimes are rose or white colored – the flowers appear from April to June. For medical purposes are used both whole plant and roots, that are harvested during flowering (May, June and July) and dried for later use.
The main ingredients consist of triterpene saponins, a bitter substance (polygamarin), tannins and essential oils with salicylates.
Uses of Bitter Milkwort
Bitter Milkwort has a strong toning effect, causing a better functioning of the respiratory system, nervous system, and stomach. The herbaceous plant is: bitter, diaphoretic, diuretic, emollient, mildly expectorant, and galactagogue.
The plant is well-known as an active agent in lung diseases, causing massive bronchial secretion, which is fluidized and removed. Bitter Milkwort is particularly, effective for respiratory therapies on pneumonia, pulmonary tuberculosis, whooping-cough, and bronchitis. The plant is commonly used for coughs, chronic bronchitis, and other chronic lung problems.
The tea (infusion) is utilized to treat stomach upsets, bladder and kidney disorders etc. Extended use of the Snakeroot is useful in relieving chronic diarrhea.
Nursing mothers may increase milk flow using Bitter Milkworth.
People who take Bitter Milkwort as treatment may always use a medication to protect the stomach, because Bitter Milkwort can irritate the digestive tract.
Polygala Wine (Bitter Milkwort)
Polygala Wine is prepared from: five tablespoons of Polygala Amara, one liter of white wine, one tablespoon of wormwood, one tablespoon of cinnamon; allowed to soak for 12 days, then filter the wine and take one tablespoon before meal, three times a day. It is recommended for ease of digestion, liver problems and biliary dyskinesia.
How to Make the Bitter Milkwort Tea
Bitter Milkwort Tea for long-term treatment, is prepared as follows:
Pour a cup of boiling water over two teaspoons of plant; allow to steep for 10 minutes; strain the tea and drink it sweetened with honey – 2 to 3 cups per day.
Bitter Milkwort Tea for Bronchitis:
Boil one cup of water and two teaspoons of dried plant at a low heat, for 15 minutes. This tea act as expectorant. Drink 2 to 3 cups of tea per day. Avoid overdosing, because using the tea in excess can cause allergy.
External Uses of Bitter Milkwort: varicella (as local washes); rheumatism (as massage using the tincture).
Tincture of Bitter Milkwort for Rheumatism:
Add 2 tablespoons of crushed Bitter Milkwort roots to 500 ml of grain alcohol of 40 degrees. Allow to soak for 15 days, then strain. It is useful in massages on painful areas caused by rheumatism.
Contraindications: plant consumption in any form is contraindicated in case of damage to the digestive tract, gastritis, hemoptysis, fever.