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Tar Vine (Boerhavia diffusa)

B. coccinea. B. repens. L.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Tar Vine
Boerhavia diffusa

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    The roots are diuretic, emetic, expectorant, laxative and stomachic[152, 240, 243]. They are used in the treatment of asthma, oedema, anaemia, jaundice, ascites, anasarca, scanty urine and internal inflammation. They are also said to be an antidote to snake poisoning[240, 243]. An alkaloid in the roots has been shown experimentally to produce a distinct and persistent rise in blood pressure plus marked diuresis[240].

  • Edible Use

    Tender young leaves and shoots – cooked and used as a vegetable[144, 154, 177, 272].

    Root – baked[144, 154, 177]. Rich in carbohydrate and protein, though the flavour is bland and the texture sometimes woody[193].

    Seed – cooked. It can be ground into a powder and added to cereals when making bread, cakes etc[177].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in a greenhouse in the spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it could succeed outdoors at least in the milder parts of this country. It is hardy to at least -7¡c in Australian gardens[157] but this cannot be translated directly to the British climate because our summers are cooler and our winters longer, colder and wetter. If the plant is capable of surviving our winters it is likely to need a sheltered very sunny position in a well-drained soil. Most if not all members of this genus have the same edible uses[193].
Australia – New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria.

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.