Mar. 1, 2018

horse-balm, Collinsonia canadensis

Horse-balm is a large bushy herb, growing to as much as four feet. One of the qualities that attracts herbalist attention is poison. Horse-balm is not poisonous. Probably for that reason it was a late comer to herbal medicine, not being much used until the 1800's. But once used, it became very popular. Millspaugh in American Medicinal Plants (1892) says, ". . this genus is considered as a panacea, and used outwardly and inwardly in many disorders; it is applied in poultice and wash for bruises, sores, blows, falls, wounds, sprains, contusions and taken like a tea for headaches, colic, cramps, dropsy, indigestion (and finally), etc." Horse-balm is one of the few summer bloomers in woods in AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WI(E), WV, ON, and QC. Lenawee Co MI, 7/14/12.