Sneezeweed

(Helenium autumnale) It was the custom with some American Indian people to dry the almost mature flower heads, and keep them in a loose bunch, which is hung from the rafters of the house. When wanted for use, it was pulverized and used as snuff. It makes one sneeze violently several times, and so would be used to loosen up a cold. The name of the genus, Helenium, has been explained away by claiming that these are the flowers that sprung from the tears of Helen of Troy, and the genus has been known sometimes as Helen Flower (W Miller). Actually, it is from the Greek name, helenion, for another plant, perhaps Inula helenium.

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