The herb St. Kitts is a perennial plant. It is quite large and easily reached one meter high. Its stock is thick and dark part of her stem, it has very few but very large leaves. These are divided into three segments, which in turn are subdivided forming a set of unequal segments. The edges are serrated and both the right and by the lack of hair reserve.
It's easy to find in the north of the peninsula, especially in high-altitude mountainous areas like the Pyrenees and the Cantabrian mountain range. Also found in Valencia and through the center of the country, although it is rare to see in the south.
One grows in shady, moist areas, in ravines and forests.
The flowers are at the end of the stem. Are usually born in clusters and is rarely isolated, are quite small and white, its fruit is elliptical and contains many seeds. It is quite dark, almost black and very bright.
The flowering season begins in May, that sometimes lasts until June or even July, depending on the area where you are.
The only part that is collected is the rhizome.
The rhizome is composed of a water-soluble glycosidic complex is provided by the cardiotonic action of this plant.
It must be very careful about the herb St. Kitts, which can be very toxic. There should never be used as a home remedy and should only be part of some doctors prepared to perform.
Its medical virtues are restricted to the heart, on which it acts as a tonic.
Externally it has been often used as an insecticide, apply on all livestock.
The first remains of the plant date back to medieval times. No one knows exactly what their origin, but there are signs of it in the feudal castle gardens. The wreckage was found on land not well suited for that to grow up alone, so it is believed that at that time and began to cultivate and nurture.
Its use is not recommended as a home remedy as it can be very toxic, if not in the hands of an expert, can become a deadly poison.
Insecticide. Formerly mixed with lard and used to kill insects, also sometimes applied externally, always to cure scabies.
It was also used as food for livestock.
HABITAT: Shady woods and moist
PART USED: The rhizome
CATALAN: Herba de Sant Cristòfol
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