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Lomatium: a genus of ~75 perennial herbs native to western North America
Family: Apiaceae (parsley family)
Medicinal species: dissectum aka fernleaf biscuitroot, Indian carrot, desert parsley
Food species: L. cous, L. geyeri, and L. macrocarpum, aka biscuitroot or kouse

LOMATIUM DISSECTUM

ACTIONS
anti-viral
anti-bacterial
expectorant
anti-inflammatory

USES
cough and upper respiratory infections
tuberculosis
Hepatitis-C, Influenza, HIV, AIDS
Chronic-fatigue, Pneumonia, Bronchitis
Herpes simplex, Sinusitis, common Colds
urinary tract infections

DESCRIPTION
related to the carrot, root sounds kind of carroty but bigger and not orange
lacy large leaves usu pinnately dissected
stalk up to 40" tall
flowers start in a tight circle and spread in a golden wheel formation over 6" across
see some pics on web of purple flowers, don't know if these are really dissectum
grows in semi-arid climates in the northwest
most available lomatium is wildcrafted, it is not being commericially cultivated
concern about the life cycle and sustainability of use
probable long life span-->large roots
does not reproduce asexually
only a very small percentage of its seeds germinate
wild Lomatium dissectum grows on rocky slopes, frequently facing south, in semi-arid areas
flavor: somewhere between celery, parsnip and stale biscuits

PART USED
large taproot

HISTORY
used by natives of Pacific Northwest and Northern Nevada for upper respiratory infections
During the 1918 influenza epidemic in Northern Nevada, Ernst Krebs MD of Carson City noticed Washoe people recovering, asked about their medicine, they "Toh-sa" or "Do-sa". Krebs called it Balsamea. Was used throughout the southwestern US 1917-1920 with good results.
Named Leptotaenia dissecta until 1942
sometimes prescribed by contemporary herbalists on the basis of its ethnobotanical use for colds, influenza, and coughs
use was taught to contemporary naturopathic physicians by Dr. John Bastyr @ NCNM and Bastyr

CONSTITUENTS
tetronic acids
a glucoside of luteolin (these potentially antiviral)
coumarins
saponins (expectorant irritation of mucosa, cleansing, thin secretions)
resins (warming and stimulating, expectorant action good with scant thick mucuous)
volatile oils

DOSAGE
extracts with resins removed, aka lomatium isolates, 1-3 ml/day
tincture 1–3 ml three times per day

SIDE EFFECTS
rash---Bastyr noted that the appearance of the rash was used as a sign to lower the dose of the herb
rather than to discontinue it, especially in severe influenza or pneumonia.
test small amount before giving larger dose
nausea
not recommended during pregnancy and breast feeding dt lack of research
no well-known drug interactions

COULD THE RASH BE A JARISCH HERXHEIMER REACTION???
Michael Moore seems to think so:
The following anecdote, comes from Henriette Kress of Finland.
“We had that ‘lung grunge’ going around, at the end of January 1998, at the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine, so Michael Moore mixed me a one-ounce bottle of diverse things, among them perhaps 5-10 ml of Lomatium tincture (this was either a 1:2 95 % fresh or a 1:5 70 % dried). I took perhaps five droppers of that a day for about three days, and then I woke up with the rash - at about the same time as the infection broke. Jonathan Treasure was at school that day, so I showed it to him - he was concerned that I perhaps had scarlet fever. When Michael showed up a few hours later he was crowing - “Folks, we have a Lomatium rash!” Michael uses Lomatium for viral infections, and he says that the rash is a sign of massive die-off; if you don’t have a systemic infection you won’t get the rash, and not everybody gets it even with an infection. Perhaps it could be avoided by adding some liver and some hot herbs to the mix, to speed cleanup?

biscuit root as food:
Lomatium species: cous, geyeri and macrocarpum
grows on dry often open rocky slopes and flats
often found with sagebrush
most common in foothills and lowland areas
occasionally found above the treeline
root is eaten cooked, can be dried and ground into a flour, "sun baked" on rocks
fresh: parsnip-like flavor

SOURCES
http://www.pfaf.org/leaflets/altroots.php
http://www.lomatium.com/
http://www.evitamins.com/healthnotes.asp?ContentID=2126009
http://medherb.com/Materia_Medica/Lomatium_rash_case_reports.htm
http://www.nps.gov/plants/medicinal/plants/lomatium_dissectum.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herxheimer_reaction

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