Growing Pimpernel

July 6, 2010 § 1 Comment

Scarlet pimpernel is an annual flower.

It grows in Persia, Nepaul, China, New Holland, Mauritius, Cape of Good Hope, Japan, Egypt, Abyssinia, U.S.A., Mexico, and Chile.

And now in Bretagne too, home-grown.

 

‘No heart can think, no tongue can tell
The virtues of the Pimpernel.’

Be very, very careful …

Sowing

The soil type is not important. It takes between 30 days and 45 days to germinate, and it is best to plant seeds outside as transplanting pimpernel plants is problematic.

Growing

Pimpernel prefers to be grown in full sunlight. Scarlet Pimpernel is easy to grow and looks after itself, the only thing to remember is not to move the plant once it has been set as they do not tolerate being moved.

Propagation is entirely by seeds, as the plant is an annual, completely dying at the end of each season, both above and below ground.

Harvesting

Not, unless having gone mental. In which case, gather or harvest the whole herb. In the wild condition, when the leaves are at their best, in June. Both fresh and dried can be used.

Remedies

The plant possesses very active properties, although its virtues are not fully understood. It is known to contain Saponin.

Experiments have shown that it contains injurious properties which neither drying nor boiling destroys. It is toxic, even in small amounts.

The tincture is made from the fresh leaves, in the proportion of ~ 500 gr to a liter of diluted alcohol; the dose is from 1 to 5 drops. A homeopathic tincture is also prepared from the flowers.

In the past, its juice has been used against consumption, and for cosmetic purposes by ladies.

Doctors in the 18th century (maybe later too) considered the tincture remedial in melancholy and in allied forms of mental disease.

Recipes

Feast your eyes on its beauty.

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