Mountain Rose Herbs

Heather Flowers

Also known as

Calluna vulgaris and Erica vulgaris

Introduction

Heather flowers are a traditional remedy in Swedish herbal medicine. A low mound of handsome greenery topped by multiple spikes of colored flowers, heathers are native to Ireland, Scandinavia, Russia, and northern North America, but are especially synonymous with Scotland and its history and lore. The native Picts were renowned for their fierceness in battle and their heather ale, which was made without he addition of malt and hops (as they don’t grow in Scotland), instead relying on the heather’s nectar for flavor and to help with the fermentation. In Scotland, white heather is considered good luck, no doubt due in part to its scarcity, much in the same way that a 4-leaf clover is in Celtic mythology. One legend says that white heather only grows on the burial grounds of the fairy folk. Heather flowers are also used in Moorland tea and are a favorite of renowned Scottish poet Robert Graves. Branches are used as broom straw, the leaves flavor beer and tea, the bark can be used for tanning, and the flowers yield nectar for honeybees. Another interesting fact is that Heather flowers are a traditional beer making ingredient and it is popularly used in parts of Europe and especially Ireland.

Constituents

Dihydroxychromone, various forms of quercetin.

Parts Used

Dried flowers and leaf.

Typical Preparations

Teas, tinctures, infusions, can be used in capsule form. Also found in beverages, mostly in beer.

Precautions

None known.

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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