This shrub grows to between 3 and 10 feet in height. It has yellow to orange flowers that grow in dense heads and change to red or purple as they mature. The fruit grows in a drupe that turns black when ripened. Speaking to its medicinal powers, it is known in many lands by many names: wild sage, red sage, white sage, big sage, five little indians, cat's claw, confiturio, and tickberry. Great care must be taken when ingesting this herb, as it can be toxic.
WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND:
Mexico, Caribbean, Southern US, Central and South America, Asia-Pacific Region, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Hawaii
PROPERTIES AND USE:
Antibacterial, antivenomous, antitumor, diuretic, tonic, febrifuge, hypotensive, carminative, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antimalarial, antibacterial, insecticidal, antifungal, diaphoretic, hypoglycemic. Used to treat dysentery, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, liver pain, toothache, epilepsy, cramps rashes, ulcers, insect bites, earache, deafness, pulmonary emphysema, cystic fibrosis, hepatitis, rheumatism, cough, flu, asthma, nausea, emotional stress.
Flowers are used in a tonic for rheumatism.
For earaches and to alleviate deafness, place a large handful of flowers, chopped stems, and macerated leaves in coconut oil. Heat until the flowers wilt, and then remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Strain, and then pour into the affected ear(s). To relieve itching or inflammation, burn the leaves, and then grind into a powder. Apply directly to the affected area. Also for itching and inflammation, place 9 leaves in a cool bath. For all other conditions, boil 1 large handful of the stems and root in 1 gallon water for 30 minutes. Allow to steep for 30 minutes. Strain, and drink three glasses per day.