Folk Medicine

Latin name: Not known

Usable parts: Flowers and leaves

Harvest period: Spring

Constituents: Triterpene saponins, tannins, organic acids, vitamins, minerals, silicon3

Action: Nervine, astringent 3

Application: A tea made from its leaves fortifies the nerves and is said to aid those recovering from strokes. It is also frequently used to combat colds and viral infections. Although in more recent times it has fallen out of favour, this might not be a bad thing in view of its declining numbers.

Risk of misidentification: Ranunculus glacialis

Tips for Domestic Cultivation

The lifespan of this high Alpine dwarf shrub can stretch to 100 years. This is also thanks to its symbiosis with a root fungus, which produces sufficient moisture for it to survive even in very harsh conditions. Relocation and replanting it are extremely difficult. But since the Alpine dwarf shrub population has declined considerably in the Alps, picking wild plants is forbidden. Nevertheless, preparations made from the plant are available from pharmacies.

Home Use / Recipe Idea

Of the age-old myths and legends surrounding this plant, one story tells of the magical properties of its blossoms. Imbibing the flower during the summer solstice is said to generate more vivid dreams – that can see into the future. Even a soul mate could be conjured up! For those curious to discover if there’s any truth in this old tale, just pick the first flower you’ll find, make a tea out of it, and drink it on 21 June. Who knows?

3 “Die Kräuter in meinem Garten” by Siegrid Hirsch & Felix Grünberger; 22nd Edition; Freya Verlag Gmbh