Aromatic biennial, sometimes perennial, herb of the daisy family native to the western United States, also known as Wild Sunflower and Rosin-wood. A rather scrubby looking plant, it bears yellow daisy flowers all summer which are very attractive to bees. The young leaves are edible as a pot herb.
Grindelia species have a long history of use by Native American people to relieve bronchial problems and skin afflictions, including reactions to poison ivy and has since been embraced by western herbalism. The leaves and flowering tops contain antibiotic, antispasmodic, balsamic, demulcent, expectorant, sedative, stomachic and tonic properties. Grindelia is said to be extremely effective as a calming agent in the treatment of asthma, as when taken internally it slows down the heartbeat and reduces the stimulation of the nerve endings in the air passages that causes coughing. It is also used to prevent recurrent flu-like symptoms such as cough, cold and fever. A tincture of Grindelia can be used to treat bladder and urethra infections.
Grindelia also accelerates wound healing and can be applied as a compress on inflamed or irritated areas of the skin, wounds, insect bites and rashes, and even blisters caused by burns. It may also give pain relief from herpes and rosacea. A decoction of the roots has been used as a hair shampoo to kill lice.
Yellow and green dyes can be obtained from the flowering heads and pods.
Grindelia requires a sunny position in free draining soil and is most suited to sandy and loamy soils, also tolerating both saline soils and drought. Great for dry banks, coastal sites and poor soils. Frost hardy. Height to 60 – 100 cm when in flower.
Certified organic plant in 9cm pot.
Photo credit: Flowers: espandco.ir, potted plant: Kahikatea Farm