Medical Herbs Catalogue



Botanical Name: Clematis recta
Family: N.O. Ranunculaceae

Synonyms: Upright Virgin's Bower. Flammula Jovis.
Parts Used: The roots, stems.
Habitat: Europe.

Description: A perennial plant, stem about 3 feet high, leafy, striated, herbaceous, greenish or reddish; leaves large opposite, leaflets five to nine pubescent underneath, petioled; flowers, white in upright stiff terminal umbels, peduncles several times ternate; seeds dark brown, smooth, orbicular, much compressed, tails long yellowish, plumose; time for collecting when beginning to flower.

The leaves and flowers have an acrid burning taste, the acridity being greatly diminished by drying.

Medicinal Action and Uses: The leaves and flowers when bruised irritate the eyes and throat giving rise to a flow of tears and coughing; applied to the skin they produce inflammation and vesication, hence the name Flammula Jovis. They are diuretic and diaphoretic, and are useful locally and internally in syphilitic, cancerous and other foul ulcers. Best suited to fair people, much used by homoeopathists for eye affections, gonorrhoeal symptoms and inflammatory conditions.

-Dosages: 1 to 2 grains of the extract a day. 30 to 40 grains of the leaves in infusion a day.

Antidotes: Camphor moderates the too violent effects of the drug. Bryonia is said to appease the toothache caused by clematis.

Other Species:
Clematis flammula (Sweet-scented Virgin's Bower) is cultivated in gardens, together with C. Vitalba (Travellers' Joy) and C. Virginia (Common Virgin's Bower). C. Viorna (Leather Flower) and C. crispa has been sometimes used in place of C. recta. C. flammula is said to contain an alkaloid, Clematine, a violent poison. From the bruised roots and stems of C. vitalba, boiled for a few minutes in water and then digested for a while in sweet oil, a preparation is made used as a cure for itch, this variety is also said to contain Clematine.