(Solidago virgaurea) In England, Golden Rod has long had the reputation, if held in the hand, to find hidden springs of water, as well as to treasures of gold and silver (Dyer. 1889). But sometimes it is seen as an unlucky plant, certainly not to be taken indoors (Vickery. 1995). It is, though, a symbol of precaution, and encouragement (Leyel. 1937). The flowers and leaves give a fine yellow dye (Barton & Castle), but the rest of its uses are purely medicinal, if the Scottish belief that it can heal broken bones (Beith) can be classed as such. Gypsies use an infusion of the leaves for treating gravel and stone (Vesey-Fitzgerald). That usage has a venerable ancestry. Gerard, for instance, reported that it "provoketh urine, wasteth away the stones in the kidneys, and expelleth them ...", and Culpeper had virtually the same recommendation.
Another gypsy use is of an ointment made from the fresh leaves, to heal wounds and sores (Vesey-Fitzgerald). Martin also records this use in Lewis, Outer Hebrides. Gerard again: "it is extolled above all other herbes for the stopping of blood in bleeding wounds ...". In China, it is the seeds that are used to treat haemorrhages, wounds, etc., (Perry & Metzger). A lotion made from Golden Rod was used in the treatment of ulcers, and it was also said to make loose teeth secure (Addison).
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