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What are the Medical Uses of Red Columbine?

By Sarah Sullins
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are many medical uses for red columbine, including the treatment of sore throats, headaches, fever, and stomach aches. It can also be used to treat certain types of skin rashes, such as poison ivy. Some gastrointestinal issues, urinary problems, and kidney problems may also be treated with red columbine.

Red columbine is an herb that is native to North America, particularly Texas, Florida, and Oklahoma. It is usually found along the border of a wooded area in a dry or moist area, but also may be found in rocky or sandy places. These flowering plants are very hardy, are not greatly affected by fires, and are usually not eaten by domestic livestock. The flowers are able to shed their own pesticide from their leaves, so bugs usually stay away from them, as well. They are typically pollinated by hummingbirds and bees.

This flower is planted in the earliest part of spring and begins to bloom in late spring or early summer. The fruit of the plant develops sometime later in the summer. It is a perennial, so it grows again every year. The herb typically will grow to a height of 1 foot to 2.5 feet (30 cm to 76 cm). The flowers are red and hang down. The petals on this plant are yellow with a bit of red at the end of them.

Native Americans are said to have used the seeds and roots of the red columbine to treat fever, headaches, and sore throats. It is said that they would crush the seeds or roots and mix them with water to treat these medical issues. Native Americans also are said to have included the treatment of stomach aches and kidney problems in their use of the plant.

The red columbine is said to be useful in reducing the itch of certain types of skin rashes, including poison ivy. The roots of the red columbine, if prepared correctly, work well to treat gastrointestinal problems. Heart conditions have also been treated with this type of plant.

There are many medical uses of red columbine, but it can also be used for other reasons. It can be added to tobacco or used in perfumes. The Native Americans used to use this plant for ceremonies, and certain varieties of this plant can be used to repel or get rid of bugs.

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