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Broomweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae)

G. divaricata. G. juncea.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Gutierrezia sarothrae

The twigs are tied to sticks and used as brooms[61, 257, 274].

The dried twigs were used as a kindling for starting fires[274].

A yellow dye can be made from the plant tops[257].

An infusion of the leaves has been used as a pleasant and refreshing bath[257].

The chewed leaf juice has an intoxication effect on bees and can kill them[257].

  • Medicinal Use

    Broomweed was widely employed medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a variety of complaints[257]. It is little, if at all, used in modern herbalism.

    A decoction of the roots has been used in the treatment of painful urination, diarrhoea and stomach aches[257]. The roots have been placed in boiling water and the steam inhaled in the treatment of respiratory complaints[257].

    The flowers are laxative[257]. A decoction of the fresh flowers has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea[257].

    The leaves are cathartic, febrifuge and sedative[257]. An infusion has been used in the treatment of coughs and colds[257]. It has also been used as a bath to treat fevers and sores, including those caused by venereal diseases[257]. A poultice of the moistened leaves has been used to treat bruises, wounds, sprains, nose bleeds and insect stings[257].

    A protein in the plant is reported to have anti-cancer activity[274].

    A strong, black infusion of the plant has been used as a rub on rheumatic joints[257].

  • Edible Use

    None known

  • Cautionary Notes

    In large quantities this plant can be toxic to grazing animals, possibly due to the presence of saponins[212, 274].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Prick the plants out into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle, using deep pots to accommodate the tap root. Grow on for the first winter in a greenhouse and plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer[200]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame.
Requires a position in full sun in a deep open well-drained soil[200]. Often found in calcareous soils in the wild[274]. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10¡c[200]. Plants are sub-shrubs and may die back to the base in winter[200]. Plants have deep taproots and resent root disturbance[200]. They should be planted into their permanent positions as soon as possible. Because it is unpalatable to livestock, this plant is often an indicator of overgrazed land[274]. Plants are strongly aromatic[200].
Western N. America – Manitoba to Montana, south to Texas and California.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.