Exploring the Lesser-Known Aspects of Aethusa Cynapium: Its Relationship with the GI Tract and Animal Lovers

Aethusa cynapium — also known as fool’s parsley or lesser hemlock — has a special affinity for the GI tract, making it an excellent remedy for symptoms associated with gastrointestinal disturbance. A species of flowering plant in the Apiaceae family, aethusa cynapium is commonly used to treat summer diarrhoea, sleep disorders, infantile cholera, convulsions, mental tension, and delirium, in addition to gastrointestinal complaints in children. Notably, aethusa cynapium is also particularly beneficial for animal lovers, and those who’ve devoted their lives to helping our furry friends — a fascinating reported observation that’s yet to be explained by science.

Benefits of aethusa cynapium: soothing the digestive system

When it comes to using aethusa cynapium as a homoeopathic remedy, a mother tincture is usually made with the whole green plant in flower. In low doses (including dilutions of 1x to 30x or more), the aethusa cynapium demonstrates a natural affinity for the GI tract, stomach, intestines, and liver. It’s typically administered to patients with symptoms, such as, persistent nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and restlessness, as well as profuse and cold sweats. These symptoms are often sudden and violent in their onset. Notably, patients may have trouble keeping food down, and be particularly intolerant to milk (including, mother’s milk and cow’s milk), as well as other dairy products. Milk may be vomited un-digested in the form of large clots with an unpleasant, acidic smell. Patients may also often report a bitter taste in their mouth, and feeling like their stomach’s been turned inside out. Fortunately, aethusa cynapium can be administered to soothe these symptoms of gastrointestinal upset.

Growing aethusa cynapium

Aethusa cynapium is native to the northern hemisphere in Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and, since it’s largely considered a weed, it’s extremely easy to grow. Aethusa cynapium is most often an annual — and only occasionally a perennial — and commonly found growing in the wild in meadows, along roadsides, around hedgerows, cultivated fields, and general wastelands. April is the best time to sow aethusa cynapium seeds; do so in substrate on a seed propagation tray at a temperature of around 20°C-23°C. The seeds should then be covered with around one centimetre of compost. Once ready, the plants can then be moved into separate plant pots filled with substrate. The pots can be stored in either a greenhouse or outside (as long as conditions aren’t frosty). Then, once the plants have developed healthy roots, they’re ready to be planted outside — ideally, in sunny to mildly-shaded conditions. Aethusa cynapium flowers from July to August, with the seeds ripening and ready to harvest in September (although the exact month depends on your exact location and weather conditions). When harvesting the seeds, take care to do so in dry conditions, cutting just underneath the inflorescence — the cluster of flowers — and storing in a plastic bag.

Boasting plenty of elegant white, pinkish flowers that bloom in the summer, along with pretty, green, parsley-like leaves, aethusa cynapium is the perfect complement to your garden and existing arrangement of shrubs and plants. Even better, once established, aethusa cynapium requires very little in the way of maintenance, growing best in nutrient-rich loams. As for your other shrubs, they should be regularly pruned in order to maximize their longevity. With correct care, your shrubs should last at least fifteen years, and maybe even longer.

Warning: fresh aethusa cynapium is highly toxic

Aethusa cynapium — the entire plant and particularly the seeds — is highly toxic when fresh. The process of drying the plant, however, denatures the toxins (specifically, toxins coniine and cynapine). If aethusa cynapium is ingested fresh, vomiting, nausea, muscle pain, and burning in the throat, mouth, and stomach can occur as a result. It’s also toxic to animals, who inherently know to avoid consuming this plant, even in times where grass is in short supply.

Thanks to its special affinity for the GI tract, aethusa cynapium is commonly used to treat gastrointestinal complaints, as well as sleep disorders, diarrhoea, and infantile cholera. Great care, however, must be taken around ingesting aethusa cynapium as it’s highly-toxic in its fresh form.

Written by Briana Hilton

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