Benefits of Leadwort
Herbs a to z
Leadwort is a shrubby perennial herb with acrid roots. It grows densely up to two meters high, with 10 to 20 stems growing directly from the root The plant has smooth leaves and tiny, bright red flowers.
The herb contains an orange yellow pigment, plumbagin, a sitosterol and a fatty alcohol. The proportion of the plumbagin varies within the limits according to the locality, growth, age, condition of the soil and the season. The older the plant and drier the soil, the greater is the quantity of active principle found in its roots
The root of the plant is acrid and stimulant It is useful in inducing copious perspiration and in promoting salivation. It also strengthens the stomach and aids in its action. Its leaves are almost tasteless, have hard cellulose and are slightly mucilaginous. About 60 ml of raw juice of its leaves can be taken by itself or may be added to mixed green vegetables and lettuces to prepare gruel or cake.
Its leaves are useful in dyspepsia diarrhoea and piles. It increases digestive powers and stimulates appetite.
Owing to its skin irritating property the herb is used in the treatment of chronic skin diseases as well as in leucoderma and baldness. A paste made with salt and water is useful for obstinate skin diseases such as syphilitic ulcers, scabies, varicose ulcers and ringworm. Paste of the root is also used over glandular tumours and abscesses. The juice of its root, especially if fresh, is very acrid and blisters the skin.
The herb is useful in the treatment of rheumatic and paralytic affections. Blended with a little bland oil such as refined coconut oil, it is applied externally over the affected parts.
Precautions: The root in large doses is narcotic and irritant, It should therefore be given only in small doses of 0.75 to 1.25 grams.