How to Use Sundew


Sundew is a carnivorous plant, one of 90 species of Drosera, which is found growing in the damp marshy edges of ponds and rivers in North and South America, Europe and Asia. Having once grown plentifully it is now increasingly hard to find. Its leaves which are nearly round (hence the name rotundifolia), form a flat rosette around the stem of the white flower, and have long red hairs like tenta­cles. These hairs have small secreting glands at their tips which exude a sticky substance that entangles unwary insects settling on the plant. The leaves con­tain digestive juices similar to pepsin which then dis­solve and absorb the plant’s victims. The glands secrete more sticky exudate in the sunshine, and when the sun shines on the leaves they look as if they are glistening with dewdrops — hence the names sundew and dew plant. Its name Drosera comes from the Latin drosos, meaning dew.

Herbal remedy

Sundew has an affinity for the throat and the lungs and has a long history of use as a remedy for coughs, bronchitis and asthma. Its antispasmodic effect relaxes spasm in the bronchial tubes and makes it an excellent remedy for the spasmodic coughs of whooping cough and croup. Its demulcent effect soothes irritated conditions of the mucous membranes throughout the respiratory system. This is helpful in sore throats, laryngitis and harsh, dry irritating coughs as in early bronchitis and tuberculo­sis. Sundew was used frequently in the past for treat­ing TB and pneumonia.

The relaxant and soothing effects of sundew extend to the digestive system, where it can be used for irritated stomachs and bowels, for colic, nausea and indigestion.

Sundew was used in the days of Culpeper who said, ‘The sun rules it and it is under the sign of Cancer. The leaves, bruised and applied to the skin, erode it and bring out such inflammations as are not easily removed. The juice destroys warts and corns, if a little be frequently put upon them.’

Homeopathic remedy: Drosera

Drosera is prepared from the entire fresh plant gath­ered when it is flowering. It is used almost specifical­ly for whooping cough and other dry, hacking coughs where the cough is deep, barking, dry and comes in violent fits. It can be suffocative, irritating and accompanied by pain in the chest so that the patient wants to hold the chest during coughing fits. The face may go blue with coughing as breathing can be difficult and there is often retching after coughing and nosebleeds. Coughing can be set off by lying down or after drinking. Drosera is also given for sore throats, hoarseness and laryngitis. In babies, it is used for tummy pains with wind and rumbling.

The flower essence

The Australian sundew, Drosera spathulata, is used for people who are vague, uncentred, indecisive and who tend to daydream, especially when there is work to be done.

Sundew helps to keep one focused and in the present; it increases motivation and attention to detail, and reduces the need in such people to escape from the realities of daily life.

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About the Author: Greenery always attracts Arthur Kunkle. He has a big garden where he plants many fruits and vegetables. His passion for gardening motivates him to write and share different tips on gardening.

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