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Two unusual pulsatillas.

A week or three ago, in the botanical garden in Helsinki:

Photo: Pulsatilla flavescens 1. Pic: Pulsatilla flavescens, a yellow-flowering pulsatilla.

Pretty, isn't it? The red one is pretty, too:

Photo: Pulsatilla regeliana 6. Pic: Pulsatilla regeliana, a red-flowering pulsatilla.

There's one or the other wild pulsatilla over here, but they're endangered, so it's best to just grow pulsatilla in the garden. The usual one is of course purple (Pulsatilla vulgaris), but for variety, yellow and red both work as well.

If you read olde tomes you can see that the Brits were (still are?) scratching their collective heads about pulsatilla: "what is all the fuss about?" That's because the Brits were using dried herb tincture ... pulsatilla only works if you use fresh herb in your tincture.

Very good herb, is pulsatilla.

Related entries: Herbs for Happiness - Pulsatilla: fresh vs. dried


If I recollect correctly, in one of those headscratching moments I know I've read David Hoffmann saying (well, writing) that Pulsatilla (Pasque Flower) NEEDS to be dried. There's so much good in Hoffmann's books, they're really among the best, I think for beginning herbalists, but here and there are these weird bits of... what would it be? Error? Ignorance? Or maybe one of those weird things where somebody actually does get dried Pulsatilla to work for them, though nobody else seems to think its worth its weight in gum wrappers? I don't know... it's certainly not the way I'd use it, but then again, Rosemary Gladstar recently told me she used some herbs dried that I never would... ah... the myriad idiosynchrasies of this art...

A London herbalist told me a few months ago that Hoffman's work is basically just a rewriting of the NIMH course. The work of a bright student.

I expect Hoffman didn't know about Pulsatilla, and just wrote what others had told him.

... I forgot to mention what I use Pulsatilla for: 1-3 drops of fresh herb tincture is very good to move you from the tracks. Switch you from a locked-in view of your long-term future to a multitude of choice.

And on that note it may be interesting to know that a classical homeopath, one of my friends, told me that I didn't need to tell her all about pulsatilla, as homeopaths use it the same way.

Another plant the Eclectics co-opted from homeopathy? I'll have to give the Boerecke (if that was his name) Materia Medica some attention once I'm back home; these library and internet cafe machines are way too restricted for easy work... this one at least allows cookies, but this, too, only lets me open one window. In IE. Bleh.
And let's not even start talking about the keyboards...

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