Bundleflower Tisane

Caution: People can be allergic to all kinds of things. If you want to try this use some reasonable caution. And be sure of your plant identification.

Poison ivy in the eye. Even less fun than you are imagining.

So highly motivated, I stepped out to collect some bundleflower leaves. The large seed pods made spotting the plant easy enough (even with the use of only one eye) but when I got close I could see that most of the leaves had been eaten since the last time I saw it in September. I didn’t want to completely strip the plant of its last leaves so I took about a teaspoon full. That left about a teaspoon of leaves left on the plant. Poor thing.

Desmanthus illinoensis
Desmanthus illinoensis leaves

Then I looked all over the internet for recipes and found out the root bark is one ingredient in a rather well known entheogen. Oh my ;) Not the recipe I was seeking.

I decided to make a standard tisane. Normally that would mean about equal amounts herb and hot water steeped for about 15 minutes under cover. In this case it meant steeping the fresh leaves in about a 1/4 cup of very hot water forever. They didn’t have a lot of juice in them. After a half hour I imagined I saw a bit of green colouring to the water.

I didn’t drink the tisane but I did taste it. It was pleasant enough, tasting green, a bit like stinging nettle.

I’ve been using it as an eye wash: dipping a cotton ball into the solution and gently pressing it against my eye as necessary. It is definitely soothing and eases the itch. Is it refreshing due to the water or the herb I couldn’t say but as long as it feels like it is working that is good enough for me.

I did apply some of the tisane to a few welts that were already healing and have to say it outperformed the Anti-Itch Lotion I had in my medicine cabinet from the drug store. The drug store lotion certainly stops the itch but I find it burns open wounds; the tisane just felt gentle and soothing.

Next year when the plant starts growing again I think I will gather more bundleflower leaves, dry them and have them on hand in the medicine cabinet. This has been fun. I feel like a druid or something.

Desmanthus illinoensis
Desmanthus illinoensis leaves
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8 thoughts on “Bundleflower Tisane

  1. Debra you are a real pioneer or shaman using plants for healing…I love it. And I do hope your eye is feeling better soon…that is an awful spot for any issues.

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    1. Thanks, Donna. Not too sure about the shaman thing but I do feel like this plant was reaching out to me. I was intrigued by it earlier in the fall and couldn’t forget about it … and then just when I needed to know .. the information came. Pretty lucky =)

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  2. Ooof. Poison Eye-vee? (sorry…)

    Maybe you’ll want to gather some of those seed pods and get more of that stuff growing for future use. Hoping you have the speediest of all recoveries (and now going off to rub both my eyes because I can’t help it!).

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    1. As far as good berry and cure light wounds … perhaps. Visually not so much. hahaha. Think: dirt under nails, twig in hair, scraped knees, oozing poison ivy welts and mosquito bites. Plus a lot more clothing. =D

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