Lomatium Effects, Lomatium Use, Health Benefits

Explores the health benefits of Lomatium Effects, Lomatium use, comprehensive guide to herbal remedies.

Many Native American groups recognized the value of lomatium as a source of nourishment and medicinal remedy. Lomatium root was peeled, dried, and ground into flour to make sweet-tasting biscuits. Lomatium seeds were eaten raw or roasted, or ground into flour for baking.

Native Americans chewed on the root to treat a range of respiratory infections. Lomatium was used for conditions including cold, flu, bronchitis, tuberculosis, hay fever, asthma, and pneumonia. Lomatium was also used in a tobacco mixture. The herb was smoked during rituals, and healers used the smoke to treat respiratory infections. Lomatium was used when the Native Americans were exposed to tuberculosis and other diseases that Europeans brought to North America.

When the world faced the influenza pandemic of 1917-18, Americans tried remedies such as castor oil, tobacco, aspirin, and morphine. American herbalists recommended use of lomatium, and the remedy was used with reported success, especially in the Southwest.

Contemporary uses of lomatium

Lomatium is currently used as an antiviral remedy to treat colds, coughs, and infections. The herb is also known for boosting the immune system and reducing inflammation.

Lomatium can relieve chest pain and stomach upset that frequently accompany the flu. It has also been used for conditions such as asthma, hay fever, mononucleo-sis, infective bronchitis, tuberculosis, and the early stages of tonsillitis. Other uses of lomatium include treatment of skin infections, cuts, and sores. A health

practitioner might recommend the use of lomatium for a person diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a muscular inflammatory condition. Causes of fibromyalgia are not known, but are thought by some to be connected to viruses. Symptoms include an impaired immune system, chronic pain, and fatigue.

The future of lomatium

Lomatium was among the plants placed on Montana's plant protection list in April 1999. The state enacted a law that placed a three-year moratorium on the wildcrafting of lomatium, wild echinacea, butterroot, and sundew that grow on state land. Wildcrafting is the harvesting of herbal plants in the wild. Plants like lomatium face the risk of becoming endangered because of increased popularity and usage of herbal remedies, and reduction of habitat due to development.

A moratorium on wildcrafting is one way to protect plants in the short term. Long-term solutions include habitat protection and cultivation of herbs in home gardens and on commercial farms. Several organizations, such as United Plant Savers (www.plantsavers.org), are intent on protecting medicinal plants in the wild and increasing their availability.

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