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Veterinarian Reviewed on January 14, 2014 by Paulina Nelega, RH
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Pulsatilla Herb


The Pulsatilla herb (Pulsatilla vulgaris) is a medicinal herb that is native to North America, parts of Europe and in Asia. It is also referred to as Pasque Flower, Wind Flower or Meadow Anemone in some parts of the world. This plant has violet colored, bell shaped flowers which bloom in the early spring.

The Pulsatilla herb is highly toxic with cardiogenic toxins that may slow down heart rate in humans. Owing to these properties, it may also be used to calm and soothe pain, Headaches and may also relieve Insomnia and restlessness. Experts have also believed that the Pulsatilla herb have the ability to treat ovarian and menstrual pain, to alleviate premenstrual syndrome symptoms.

History and Origin

The plant blooms in early spring thus earning the name Pasque Flower in France. Ancient civilizations also believe that this plant’s medicinal properties stems from blooming from the blood of Adonis. During the reign of the Romans, they had a rather high regard for the Pulsatilla herb as a cure for fever.

The tribes in Northern America regard the Pulsatilla herb as the “great medicine” since it has many curative properties. In Asia, it has been used for its antibacterial properties and as an anti inflammatory drug as well.

Ancient Uses

The use of the Pulsatilla herb during ancient times has been well documented by historians. From Asia, Europe and North America, ancient settlers have many uses for the Pulsatilla herb. It primarily serves as a cure for restlessness by slowing down the heart rate thus making pain relief possible. It was also used as a cure for headaches and as a relief for insomnia too.
In the middle ages, it was noted to be used as a diuretic, expectorant and a uterine stimulant as well. It was used fresh or dried for use as an herbal medication.

Modern Uses

In today’s modern world, the Pulsatilla herb is known for its anti cancer properties and anti tumor effects. The herb is also known for its calming effect, improving gastrointestinal and excretory functions that aids in restoring overall body health. The Pulsatilla herb is also popular in the treatment of hyperactivity and insomnia. The Pulsatilla herb has a sedative effect and is very effective in inducing a state of relaxation especially in women.

Experts also believe that the Pulsatilla herb is an antispasmodic so it can relax smooth muscles in the pulmonary system relieving coughs, asthma and bronchitis symptoms as well.

Side Effects

Pulsatilla herb is considered to be highly toxic and also noted to produce cardiogenic toxins that can slow down a person’s heart. Thus it should not be taken by patients with heart conditions. Large doses of the Pulsatilla herb may result in gastro intestinal problems and convulsions. Some adverse effects of the Pulsatilla herb may be severe hypotension and coma.

The Pulsatilla herb has abortive effects so it must not be taken by pregnant women and must also be avoided when breastfeeding.
Taking the Pulsatilla herb for its medicinal effects may also cause drug interactions and some adverse side effects; therefore you must consult your doctor first if the Pulsatilla herb is right for you.

Read also: Red Peony Root

Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

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