(Alisma plantago aquatica)
Also known as:
European water-plantain, common water-plantain or mad-dog weed
The alisma root has an antibacterial action on Mycobacterium (tuberculosis) and Staphylococcus and mycobacterium and is used in the treatment of oliguria, oedema, nephritis, acute diarrhoea and fatty liver. It is also useful for treating Streptococcus pneumoniae which can cause bacteremia (blood stream infection), ear infections,
meningitis (infections of the brain and spinal cord), pneumonia (infection of the lungs) and sinus infections that may lead to serious complications especially for young infants and the elderly. The alisma root can lower blood pressure, LDL cholesterol and blood sugar levels and it has been thought of as a cure for rabies, though this has not been substantiated. The whole plant is believed to promote conception.
The leaves are antibacterial, anticholesterolemic, diaphoretic, diuretic, hypoglycaemic and hypotensive. Alisma leaves are used in the treatment of cystitis, dysentery and kidney stones. The fresh alisma leaf is rubefacient and used in the treatment of leprosy and is also applied locally to bruises and swellings.
Dried alisma stem bases are eaten or grated and taken with water in treating digestive disorders such as heartburn, cramps and stomach flu.
The powdered alisma seed is an astringent, used in cases of bleeding. Alisma has been thought of as a cure for rabies, though this has not been substantiated. The whole plant is believed to promote conception.
The root is harvested before the plant comes into flower and is dried for later use. A homeopathic remedy is obtained from the fresh root. It is used cooked and is rich in starch.
NOTE: Caution is advised as the root is acrid if it is not dried or well cooked before use. Alisma leaves and petioles must be thoroughly cooked. They require long boiling and have a salty flavour.