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IFFY EDIBLES - Proceed at your own risk
EDIBLE: Leaves - cooked or raw. The young leaves have been used in many areas as a salad, though this is very inadvisable, see the notes on toxicity at the top of the page.
MEDICINAL: Groundsel has a long history of herbal use and, although not an officinal plant, it is still often used by herbalists. The whole herb is anthelmintic, antiscorbutic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue and purgative[4, 9, 21, 54]. It is often used as a poultice and is said to be useful in treating sickness of the stomach, whilst a weak infusion is used as a simple and easy purgative. The plant can be harvested in May and dried for later use, or the fresh juice can be extracted and used as required. Use with caution. This plant should not be used by pregnant women, see also the notes above on toxicity. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant. It is used in the treatment of menstrual disorders and nose bleeds.
OTHER USES: A good food plant for the caterpillars of many butterfly and moth species, and is one of only two species that provide food for cinnabar moth caterpillars. Dynamic accumulator.
LOOK-A-LIKE: Sow Thistle which is very edible