Deer's Tongue

Medical Herbs Catalogue


Deer's Tongue

Botanical Name: Liatris odoratissima (WILLD.)
Family: N.O. Orchidaceae

Synonyms: Vanilla Leaf. Wild Vanilla. Trilissia odorata.
Part Used: Leaves.
Habitat: North America: cultivated in England.

Description: Herbaceous perennial plant, composite distinguished by a naked receptacle, oblong, imbricated, involucre, and a feathery pappus, fleshy basal leaves obolanceolate, terminating in a flattened stalk. Leaves of stem clasping at base. The leaves are used to flavour tobacco. Their perfume is largely due to Coumarin, which can be seen in crystals on the upper side of the smooth spatulate leaves. Most of the species are used medicinally.

Medicinal Action and Uses: Demulcent, febrifuge, diaphoretic.

Other Species:
Liatris spicata has a warm bitterish taste and used as a local application for sore throat in the treatment of gonorrhoea.

L. squarrosa, called 'the rattlesnake' because the roots are used to cure rattlesnake bite, a handsome plant with very long narrow leaves, and large heads of lovely purple flowers.

L. scariosa also used for snake-bite and recognized by the involucral scales which are margined with purple.