Pellitory of the wall is a perennial plant that is found inhabiting the walls as well as arid rocky places. This plant bears deep green leaves, minute flowers have a greenish hue and diminutive capsules enclosing seeds whose color range from dark brown to black. While the plant bears the female flowers at the tip of the stems, the male flowers emerge in clusters in the leaf axils. Pellitory of the wall is a close relative of the species P. judaica and is utilized in the same manner. The plant's name parietaria has been derived from the Latin term 'paries' denoting a 'wall'. In fact, this has reference to the foremost habitat of the two species - cracks in the walls. Plants belonging to the parietaria species are connected to stinging nettle (Urtica species). However, the smooth upper surfaces of their leaves are different.
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Pellitory of the wall is an herb that has been traditionally used for treating disorders of the kidney as well as urinary bladder. In addition, this herb has been a conventional remedy for infections of the urinary tract, urinary stones, cystitis (inflammation of the urinary bladder) and other associated ailments. Pellitory of the wall is also a conventional medicine for cough and may even be used to ease the pain caused by wounds and burns as well as speed up their healing process.
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This herb also possesses very effectual diuretic properties and is a perfect medication to increase urination (micturition). Pellitory of the wall is considered to be among the best resources when it is essential to enhance the flow of urine. It is believed that the flavonoids present in the herb as well as its rich potassium content are responsible for this particular attribute of the plant. In effect, taking two or three infusions prepared with a couple of dried leaves of the herb every day in a litre of water may be used to treat a number of ailments. This is especially important when it is essential to get rid of excessive fluids from the body. The ailments which can be treated by taking infusions prepared with the dry leaves of pellitory of the wall are as under.
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Apart from the herb's emollient, diuretic and depurative attributes, it is important to note that pellitory of the wall also possesses pectoral or thoracic properties - something very effective for treating asthma as well as bronchial affections. People suffering from such medical conditions should take half a spoonful of the herb's dried leaves thrice every day as a remedy.
According to the European herbal medicine, the herb pellitory of the wall is considered to possess healing actions on the kidneys, sustaining as well as reinforcing their functioning. The entire herb, harvested when the plant is in flower, possesses numerous therapeutic properties. It is cholagogue (promoting bile secretion), somewhat demulcent (a medication that soothes and protects an irritated mucus membrane), laxative, diuretic, vulnerary (an herb that promotes healing of wounds) and refrigerant (reduces body temperature during fevers). This herb is known to be an effective medication for kidney as well as bladder stones and several other complaints of the urinary system, including cystitis and nephritis (inflammation of the kidney). Here is a word of caution. This herb should never be prescribed to individuals suffering from hay fever or any other allergic reactions. The leaves of pellitory of the wall may be used externally as a poultice on wounds, burn injuries and so on. The poultice prepared with the leaves of this herb has a comforting effect on ordinary burns and scalds. It is advisable to harvest the herb while it is flowering. The leaves and shoots of pellitory of the wall may be used both fresh as well as dried. In fact, dried leaves of the herb can be used to prepare an excellent herbal tea that is beneficial for a number of health conditions.
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The herb pellitory of the wall is indigenous to western, central and southern regions of Europe. While P. officinalis is native to central as well as southern parts of Europe, P. judaica is indigenous to southern areas of the continent. In several parts of the globe, these two species have become weeds. To a certain extent, these two species are harvested for therapeutic use.
It has been found that the ordinary pellitory grows naturally in areas that are generally neglected, such as on the walls, inside riverside forests as well as hedges, and besides the roads. The plant's rotund inflorescences comprising male, female and androgynous or hermaphroditic flowers are positioned in the shoot axils just on top of the place from where the leaves originate. The plant produces flowers during the period from summer to the early part of fall.
Both the species have a preference for soils conditions that range from adequately drained to arid alkaline. In addition, these plants grow excellently in total sunlight to partial shade. In addition, it needs to be noted that they grow well on stone walls that are dry. The plants are dioecious - denoting that they bear flowers of both sexes. In case you wish to obtain the seeds of this pellitory of the wall, you need to cultivate the male and female plants of this species in close proximation.
The pollens of the pellitory of the wall plant are known to be among the earliest as well as most vigorous allergens that cause hay fever.
Generally, the pellitory of the wall is propagated by its seeds. The seeds ought to be sown either in spring or autumn in a cold frame. When the seedlings have grown sufficiently large to handle, prick them out and plant them outdoors during the summer. In case you have enough seeds of the plant, you can sow them in situ either in autumn or in spring. The plant can also be propagated by division during spring. The process to propagate the plants through division is quite simple; you require large divisions of the plant that can be planted in their permanent locations outdoors directly.
Parietaria species, including pellitory of the wall, have numerous therapeutic uses. Infusions and decoctions prepared with these herbs may be used both internally as well as externally. However, there is no specification regarding the effectual and safe dosage of infusions and decoctions prepared with this herb.
As with any other herbal medication, even Parietaria species result in certain side effects and, hence, there is need to adopt some precautions. For instance, the pollen of P. officinalis is considered to result in acute allergic reaction in some individuals. The pollens of P. officinalis enclose a dodecapeptide having Par o 1, a major allergen.