Lomatium nudicaule

Ethnobotany. Lomatium nudicaule has been used as a food or as medicine by many First Peoples of North America: Atsugewi, Cowichan, Kwakiutl, Nitinath, Okanagon, Paiute, Saanish, Salish, Songish and Thompson. It was primarily the stems and leaves which were eaten in soups and stews but the young shoots (1 to 3 years old) were also considered as a treat – by the Thompson and the Salish for example. As to the medicinal uses of this species, it was primarily the seeds which were chewed or infused for colds, sore throats, headaches, pains, itching, stomach problems, swelling of a woman’s breasts, easy child delivery, constipation, fevers, etc.

Some First Peoples (Songish, Saanich, Nitinath, Cowichan) used this species also for spiritual protection: fumigation of the seeds to ward off the bad spirits and the ghosts and protection during hunting. And let us recall also that, according to Merriam C. Hart in “Ethnographic Notes on California Indian Tribes” (1966), Lomatium californicum was the most sacred plant with the Poliklah People.

Materia Medica. a

Recent researches. Lomatium nudicaule contains

Description by the Natural Resources Conservation ServiceBarestem biscuitroot is a perennial forb arising from a stout taproot. The plants reach a mature height of 20 to 45 cm (8 to 18 in). The leaves are compound ternate to bi-ternate (dividing into groups of three leaflets). The leaflets are larger than the finely dissected leaflets common to other biscuitroots and very distinctive for the genus. Each leaflet is 2 to 5 cm (0.8 to 2 in) long and ovoid to orbicular in outline with coarse teeth near the tip. The inflorescence is an umbel with 7 to 27, 8 to 10 cm (3 to 4 in) long rays. The petals are yellow. The fruit is 8 to 12 mm (0.3 to 0.5 in) long; 2 to 5 mm (0.08 to 0.2 in) wide with 0.5 mm (0.02 in) wide wings (Welsh et al 2003).

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