Foxglove, or digitalis purpurea, by its scientific name, is a plant belonging to the Scrofulariaceae family. It is also commonly referred to as a wolf’s tail, fox’s glove, or Notre Dame’s glove. It is a biennial plant that can reach 1.6 m in height. Originally from Western Europe, this plant is mainly grown for ornamental purposes. Its medicinal properties were not discovered until the end of the 16th century. This plant contains cardiac glycosides such as dioxin, digitalis, and latanoside. It also contains flavonoids and saponins.
What indications for this medicinal plant?
Its dioxin content makes this plant an excellent medicine for treat various heart diseases. It is particularly indicated in case of:
- Irregularity in the functioning of the circulatory system. In this case, this plant acts by helping the heart to regulate its beats within the auricle and the ventricle. It also strengthens cardiac muscle contractility;
- Kidney problem. In fact, foxglove has a diuretic action. The dioxin promotes the production of urine within the renal system. This has the effect of reducing blood volume in the heart;
- Hypertension. This plant also acts by lowering blood pressure.
In what form can digitalis purpura be used in herbal medicine?
The wolf tail comes in two forms in herbal medicine. Indeed, according to your preferences, you have the choice between the use of fresh leaves or the use of powder. In addition, it can be used internally or externally.
How to use it to take advantage of its therapeutic powers?
Before using foxglove for healing purposes, you should know that it is an extremely poisonous plant. Its use requires strict compliance with the indicated dosage. Moreover, it should only be taken on the recommendation of the doctor. Pharmaceutical preparations also exist to secure its use.
In infusion, you can use 1 g of powder of dried foxglove leaves in 100 ml of hot water. It is essential not to bring the mixture to a boil. The herbal tea is to be drunk during the day due to a few spoonfuls each time. In addition, it should not exceed 5 days for this type of cure. Externally, this plant can be used as a poultice. For this, you need to prepare an infusion of 1 or 2 crushed dried leaves in 100 ml of hot water. This preparation can be used as a healer for skin wounds and ulcers.
What are the contraindications to its use?
In herbal medicine, the use of foxglove must be done with great caution. Indeed, it is a plant that is very toxic. Self-medication is therefore strongly discouraged. Also, be aware that because of its toxicity, this plant should not be eaten as it is. It should also be noted that even at low doses, digitalis can be dangerous to health. It can lead to nervous disorders, heart disorders, digestive disorders and vision problems. In addition, foxglove is fatal beyond 10 g of dry leaves or 40 g of fresh leaves.