Buckbean or Bogbean.

Botanical name: 

Bogbean Menyanthes trifoliata.

(Also called March-trefoil.)

Natural Order—Gentianaceae.

This is a pretty, indigenous plant, and grows in many parts of our country, though it is not so abundant as formerly. It grows in swampy and stagnant waters from 3 to 12 inches high. The leaves are ternate; leaflets, ob-oval and wavy. The flowers are clustered, densely-bearded, and of a white colour, tinged with rose. The plant is perennial, and flowers from May to July.

Medicinal Properties: Tonic, diuretic, Hepatic, Emmenagogue.

It is useful in dyspepsia, intermittent and remittent fevers, chronic rheumatism, dropsy, lumbago, ague, scurvy, scrofula, and gout. Used singly, take 1 oz. of the dried, or 2 ozs. of the fresh herb and boil in 1 ½ pints of water down to one pint; strain, and take one wineglassful three times a day for epilepsy (falling sickness); also to assist menstruation in young girls at the period of puberty. In cold conditions of the system a little Ginger or Cayenne Pepper may be added.

As a tonic this plant may be used as a substitute for Gentian Root, Hops, &c. A very good medicine can be made as follows:—

Buckbean, 1 oz.
Yarrow, 1 oz.
Pellitory-of-the-Wall, ½ oz.
Cayenne Pepper, ½ teaspoonful.

Boil the herbs in three pints of water down to one quart; strain and pour the hot infusion upon the Cayenne Pepper. One wine-glassful to be taken four or five times a day. This is excellent for gout, rheumatism, and lumbago; and for young females it has an influence similar to that of Mugwort.

Health from British Wild Herbs was written by Richard Lawrence Hool, N.A.M.H., in 1918.