AKA: Cow slobber, widow’s tears, Moses in the bulrushes, dayflower, Indian paint, trinity flower
Historically Used to Treat: Sings and bites (especially spiders, scorpions, and daddy long legs…which usually do not bite), rabies, poisonings, constipation, stomach ailments, women’s health (in tea made by the Cherokee), malaria, skin cancers
Other uses: Edible leaves and flowers used as a salad green or garnish, used by Native Americans (Lakota) to make a blue paint to decorate clothing.
Mixed with ale to fight outbreaks of choreomania (“dancing madness”), a mysterious conditions which caused large numbers of people to dance uncontrollably throughout the Middle Ages. The “madness” was blamed on spider bites, but was more likely the result of ergot poisoning or mass hysteria.