Pilewort: Wildflower or Weed? Practical Value?

The pilewort (Erechtites hieraciifolius), is nicknamed the fireweed. It quickly regrows in fields that have been burned. It looks to the eye as nothing more than a weed. If a September wind blows through fields full of the plant, it seems to be raining tiny dandelion seeds. Folk Uses for Pilewort Every animal and plant has some redeeming value. That truism is not proven false for E. hieraciifolius. For one thing, the white hairs of the plant can be used to stuff pillows and toy animals. The name suggests the plant is good in treating piles (hemorrhoids). Erechtites is known for its foul smelling odor. Reported uses for the plant include the treating of hemorrhage, dysentery, skin diseases, and cholera. It also has been used as a purgative and emetic.…
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