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Common Name: Gumplant
Grindelia hirsutula is a perennial plant that can grow up to 1.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials..
Large doses used medicinally can irritate the kidneys[
Eastern, western and central N. America.
Disturbed sites, forest openings, hillsides, prairies, roadsides, stream banks, ocean beaches and bluffs, tidal marshes, alkaline, alluvial, clay, or sand soils from sea level to 2800 metres[
Succeeds in any well-drained soil in full sun[
]. Does well on dry sandy banks and in poor soils[
This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[
A very variable species, it is comprised of a number of forms that were previously recognised as distinct species but, in the Flora of North America[
], have all been treated as synonyms of this species. A number of these species are included in this database and, for the present are all being retained here. Species affected are Grindelia camporum, Grindelia humilis and Grindelia robusta[
All parts of the plant have a balsamic odour[
Gumplant was used by the native North American Indians to treat bronchial problems and also skin afflictions such as reactions to poison ivy[
]. It is still used in modern herbalism where it is valued especially as a treatment for bronchial asthma and for states where phlegm in the airways impedes respiration[
]. In addition, it is believed to desensitize the nerve endings in the bronchial tree and slow the heart rate, thus leading to easier breathing[
]. The herb is contraindicated for patients with kidney or heart complaints[
The dried leaves and flowering tops are antiasthmatic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, expectorant and sedative[
]. The principal use of this herb is in the treatment of bronchial catarrh, especially when there is an asthmatic tendency, it is also used to treat whooping cough and cystitis[
]. The active principle is excreted from the kidneys, and this sometimes produces signs of renal irritation[
]. Externally, the plant is used to treat burns, poison ivy rash, dermatitis, eczema and skin eruptions[
]. The plant is harvested when in full bloom and can be used fresh as a poultice or dried for infusions etc[
A homeopathic remedy is prepared from the leaves and flowering stems[
Yellow and green dyes are obtained from the flowering heads and pods[
A possible substitute for wood rosin, used in the manufacture of adhesives etc[
]. This report probably refers to the resin that covers the flower buds.
Seed - sow autumn or spring in a cool greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Prick out the plants into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer.