SMALL FLOWERED WILLOW HERB
Also called Prosta Wort and Epilobium
Botanical name: Epilobium parviflorum
Description A traditional European perennial, which forms as a rosette of 4-6cm long, willow-shaped leaves, close to the ground.
Upright flower stems, 30-50cm, carry small, insignificant, pale-pink flowers along the stem. Thin seed capsules to 5cm long, split open when dry, to reveal countless, black specks of seed like fine dust, encased in a white, fluffy fibre that easily falls to the ground or gets carried with the wind to self-seed. Picking the seed capsules before they split is recommended, as this herb has been known to become weedy.
Propagation is by seed, and also by division of the rosettes, which sometimes develop around the parent plant. As the seed is so fine, cover seed with only a fine mix when planting.
Plants are adaptable to a wide range of climates, soils and conditions.
In cold conditions it may need to be treated as an annual, as the soft leaves that lie on the ground would be frost sensitive. Good drainage is essential, as waterlogged soil could cause leaves and roots to rot.
Constituents: gallic acid, ellagitannins, flavonglycosides (especially derivatives of kaempferol, quercetin, myricetin), b-sitosterol Actions: antibacterial, cellular regenerator, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, antioxidant, antiviral, demulcent, astringent, anti-inflammatory, remedial, tonic, supports male reproductive health.
Medicinal uses In herbal history, the herb seems to have been insignificant, with very little reference or use. The plant is
mentioned in a Pharmacopoeia of 1880. Maria Treben in her herbal, ‘Health through God’s pharmacy’ (published 1982) shares her experience of her father-in-law’s death from hypertrophy of the prostate gland.
An elderly neighbour told her of this plant and its varied uses, and suggested Maria may be able to help many people with the knowledge.
Maria did just that, and went on to help many people with knowledge of the herb. In her second book, ‘Cures’, she shares many case histories and inspiring testimonials of people regaining their health. Maria found that the herb resulted in relief of many prostate disorders. As people were helped by Maria, with the information of using the herb for all manner of kidney, bladder and prostate problems, they passed on the information to others: of a simple remedy that relieves discomfort and
My interest in the plant started about 20 years ago, when a retired gentleman called at the herb farm to obtain a plant. He said that many years ago, at the time of his father’s illness and death from a severe prostate condition, his father’s doctor, a senior medical practitioner in Brisbane, told him how research was being done for prostate problems with a rare plant: the small-flowered willow herb. The doctor said he should look out for the herb, as it was proving to be very effective.
Now, this man, in his later years, remembered the advice of the Brisbane doctor, and decided it was about time for him to seek out the plant in case of any prostate problem developing. I wonder what became of the research on the plant that the doctor spoke about? Perhaps the research was completed, but then hidden, because it proved the plant’s effectiveness, in direct opposition to surgery and drugs.
Enlargement of the prostate gland is one of the most common disorders occurring in men after middle age. There may be no symptoms for a period of months to even years. Disorders of the prostate effect approximately 50% of men over 50 years, and 90% of men over 70. As the gland increases in size, it presses on the neck of the bladder. This interferes with the normal passage of urine from the bladder, causing a burning sensation, severe pain, inflammation and infection. Urination becomes increasingly difficult and the bladder never feels completely emptied. Other symptoms may be lower back pain, blood or seminal fluid in the urine, constipation and impotence. If the condition is not corrected and is left untreated, continued enlargement of the prostate eventually obstructs the bladder completely. Cancer may occur, which
may then spread to other parts of the body, and emergency measures and surgery may then become necessary. Small-flowered willow herb is also a remedial herb for anyone suffering any kidney ailment, including cystitis, bladder problems or bed-wetting. The herb has also been noted for uterine bleeding and diarrhea.
Dose: Steep 1 heaped teasp. of dried herb (or 3 heaped teasp. of chopped fresh) in 1 cup of boiling water, for 3 minutes. Strain and drink, sipping slowly. Take 1 cup, half an hour before breakfast, on an empty stomach and 1 cup, half an hour before the evening meal. Relief may be felt within 1-3 weeks, however, for complete recovery, the tea may need to be taken for 6 months, or longer. For men in their later years of life, it is suggested that they take the tea for about 1 month in a year, as a preventative to keep the prostate in good working order. One naturopath recommends to his male clients, to grow some plants and eat a few leaves in salads regularly, as a prophylactic (preventative).
By using this herb, many men have been able to recover without having to resort to surgery. Over the years, many people have reported back to me on the tremendous relief they experienced from using the herb. Men, rather shyly, would come to the farm seeking the herb, go on their way with plants or dried herb, and later return to tell us of the relief or complete cure of painful symptoms.
Some time ago, I had a man call and tell me of his father, over 80 years, who was in hospital with prostate problems, and due to have an operation. A nurse said: “Why not try willow herb?” He used the herb as a tea and had no need of the operation.
A man from Scarborough wrote, “I have been taking small-flowered willow herb for 3-4 years, for about three months a year. If it was not for this herb, I would have had a prostate operation years ago, and I would not have liked that at all. In closing, I would like to state that this herb, for the relief of prostate trouble, works wonders”.
Another man wrote that he found the herb invaluable for the treatment of prostate gland problems. “Considering that I was informed by the doctor that my condition needed an operation in the near future, three years have now passed and my problem has improved 100%, by reason of the daily intake of the herb”.
“Several years ago, a man called for the herb. His doctor said he needed to have prostate surgery. He took the herb for four months, and to the amazement of his specialist, he no longer needed surgery.
A man from Brisbane wrote, “I don’t know if you are interested. After just five days, my problem was cured. Hope it lasts. My problem was foul-smelling urine caused by a nervous condition. I am stone deaf, and after 56 years of that, physical weakness shows up. This herb has literally saved my life, as I was about ready to walk off the end of the pier”. Relief came for him in five days!
A lady wrote, sharing her husband’s experience, “After pain and prostate discomfort for years, he started taking the herb, with excellent results”, When a lady called to get more plants for her husband, she shared how her husband had been eating the leaves fresh, with very beneficial results. Rather than make it as a tea, he decided to chew the fresh leaves. He would always eat some leaves before going out, to save any embarrassing situation of having to frequently visit the men’s room, and found it most effective.
A lass who joined in a herb course several years ago, called for the herb for her father, who was in hospital with a kidney stone stuck in the urinary tract. As it was the weekend, the doctor would not operate and sent him home. He took a cup of the herb tea, passed the stone and did not need the operation.
Can small-flowered willow herb be so powerful and effective? Just ask any male who has used the herb and will be able to speak from personal experience.
From ‘How can I use herbs in my daily life?’ by Isabell
SHIPARDS HERB FARM
LOCATION: 139 Windsor Rd., Nambour, Qld; Ph. (07) 54411101. If
coming from Brisbane, turn left 1st traffic lights (Kentucky Fried
Chicken) into Arundel Ave; go under railway bridge, over bridge, veer
to left at roundabout, turn right at 2nd roundabout into Windsor Rd,
go about 1 mile down Windsor Rd, to 4th drive-way on right past S.C.
Tafe College; and watch for Shipards Herb Farm sign, at bottom of
cement drive way.
OPEN HOURS: Mon. Tues. Thurs. Sat. 10am-2pm. If wishing to call at
the farm at any other time, ring the Herb Farm on 07 54411101 (in open
hours to confirm suitable time). Closed Christmas Day.