An Eco-sustainable World
HerbaceousSpecies Plant

Eryngium aquaticum

Eryngium aquaticum

Rattlesnakemaster (Eryngium aquaticum L. 1753) is a biennial herbaceous species belonging to the Apiaceae family.

Systematics –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to:
Eukaryota Domain,
Kingdom Plantae,
Magnoliophyta Division,
Magnoliopsida class,
Order Apiales,
Apiaceae family,
Genus Eryngium,
Species E. aquaticum.
The terms are synonymous:
– Eryngium aquaticum Michx. nom. illegally;
– Eryngium floridanum J.M.Coult. & Rose;
– Eryngium foetidum Walter nom. illegally;
– Eryngium plukenetii Elliott;
– Eryngium praealtum A. Gray;
– Eryngium virginianum Elliott;
– Eryngium virginianum Lam ..

Etymology –
The term Eryngium comes from the Latin eryngium, in turn from the Greek ηρύγγιον erínghion thistle in Theophrastus (from ἔρύγγος éryngos beard bow, marine eringio or marine calcatreppola).
The specific epithet aquaticum comes from aqua water: for the growth environment, in or near water.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Eryngium aquaticum is a plant native to eastern North America in an area between New Jersey and Florida.
Its habitat is that of humid soils or plateaus.

Description –
Eryngium aquaticum is an evergreen perennial herb that grows to heights between 1.20 and 2.00 meters.
It has a ribbed and erect stem that runs upwards.
The leaves are arranged alternately and are lanced and dentate on the edges. The basal leaves can be up to 90 centimeters per 9 in width.
The inflorescence consists of heads of color varying from white to blue with thorny bracts tinged with blue.

Cultivation –
Eryngium aquaticum is a plant that grows spontaneously where it prefers moist soils, such as peat bogs, swamps, and ditches. It tolerates saturated soils and periodic flooding.
Propagation occurs by seed. It can be sown by taking the seed as soon as it is ripe in early autumn on a well-drained substratum in a cold greenhouse or in the open field in spring.
The seed usually germinates in 5 – 90 days at 20 ° C. the plants must then be transplanted, when they are large enough to be taken in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
It can be propagated by division in the early spring or autumn period. It is important to know that the plant does not tolerate transplants well.
It is also possible to prepare root cuttings in the autumn or winter period.

Customs and Traditions –
Eryngium aquaticum belongs to the group of plants that had a number of medicinal uses for Native American peoples. The Cherokee used it for nausea. The Choctaw people used it as a remedy for snakebite and gonorrhea, and the people of Delaware used it for intestinal worms. Many groups also prepared a tea to treat gastrointestinal disorders. Koasati also attributed magical powers to the plant.
Today, the plant is collected spontaneously as a medicine in some local traditions.
From a medicinal point of view, the plant is diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant and, in large doses, emetic.
It is mainly used in the treatment of disorders of the kidneys and sexual organs.
This plant is also used to form dried flower compositions and as an ornamental garden plant.

Method of Preparation –
The pounded roots of Eryngium aquaticum are used as a diuretic.
An infusion of them is used to reduce fever.
The plant is used as an antidote to snake bites; the roots are used which are chewed and applied to the bite.
A homeopathic remedy is obtained with the fresh or dried root.

Guido Bissanti

– Acta Plantarum – Flora of the Italian Regions.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Useful Tropical Plants Database.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (ed.), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora d’Italia, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Treben M., 2000. La Salute from Farmacia del Lord, Advice and experiences with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Editore.

Caution: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only, they do not represent in any way a medical prescription; therefore no responsibility is taken for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.

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