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Common Name: Bitter Milkwort
Polygala amara is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.15 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine..
Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, at least one member of this genus is said to be poisonous in large quantities.
Europe, including Britain, south and east from Norway.
Grassland and damp mountain pastures, especially on chalk and limestone[
Prefers a moderately fertile moisture-retentive well-drained soil, succeeding in full sun if the soil remains moist throughout the growing season, otherwise it is best in semi-shade[
]. Dislikes shade according to another report.
The herb is bitter, diaphoretic, diuretic, emollient, mildly expectorant, galactogogue[
]. An infusion is used to treat stomach upsets, bladder and kidney disorders etc[
]. The plant is harvested as it comes into flower and dried for later use[
Seed - sow spring or autumn in a cold frame[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of young shoots in a frame in late spring[