An herb entry from the Ancient Herbs and Modern Herbs book by James K. Sayre, Copyright, 2001. All rights reserved.



Acanthus - Acanthus mollis - family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus Family)

This is a perennial plant that grows to about five feet in height. It has large deeply-cut glossy dark green leaves that may reach three feet in length. In the summer it produces tube-shaped flowers of rose, white or pink on long spikes (racemes). The flowers are followed by capsules which each hold several seeds. This herb was used medicinally in the time of the ancient Greeks. Traditional European folk use of the leaves as a remedy for anxiety, gout and indigestion. Leaves also traditionally employed in Europe as a poultice for burns. Native of southwestern Europe and northwestern Africa. Cultivated as an ornamental in North America. At least one cultivar exists.


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Web page last updated on 18 May 2003.