WARNING!!! FOXGLOVE IS NOT SAFE FOR SELF MEDICATION OR CONSUMPTION. ALL PARTS OF THE PLANT ARE POISONOUS.
Foxglove is another plant found on the ground of Solel congregation in Ontario, Canada. Foxglove contains chemicals that are used in current drugs for health treatment. Although, foxglove should not be eaten or used for self medication I’m the wild.
- Foxglove is three to six feet tall.
- Leaves may be ovate or lance shaped. Leaves will be slightly hairy and toothed up to one foot long.
- Flowers are purple to white, and may be spotted. They are thimble shaped and 1.25 inches long.
- Foxglove blooms in summer, and the flowers hang down in clusters.
- Indigenous to western and central Europe.
- Irish druids and physicians used the plant in the thirteenth century. A potion was made by mixing the plant with wine to be a remedy, but it poisoned many people instead.
- Ointments were made from the leaf and applied topically to treat tumors.
- Wild food gatherers often mistake the plant for comfrey. There is not a very effective treatment for foxglove poisoning.
- Foxglove contains chemicals used to make the drug digoxin (Lanoxin).
- The drug is commonly used for heart failure, fluid buildup, and irregular heartbeat.
- Lanoxin releases chemicals that strengthen muscle contractions in the heart.
- Digoxin is derived only from the leaves of foxglove.
- The drug stimulates sodium calcium exchange in the body.
- The drug also slows heart rate.
- Celtic legends told that faeries used the blossoms as bonnets.
- The flower was considered to belong to the faeries, making it unlucky to bring inside one’s home.
- While the juice of the plant was poison, it was believed the juice of ten leaves could cure faeriestruck children.
- Foxglove was also believed to be a key ingredient in potions that made witches fly.