Comandra umbellata, also known as bastard toadflax or bear corn, is a perennial herb that is native to North America. It has been used for centuries by indigenous peoples for various medicinal purposes, and there is some scientific research into its potential medicinal and nutritional properties. Here are some examples:
- Anti-cancer properties: A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology investigated the anti-cancer properties of Comandra umbellata. The study found that an extract of the herb had significant cytotoxic effects against human cancer cells, suggesting that it could be a potential source of natural anti-cancer compounds. (Reference: Wang, W., et al. “Cytotoxic activity of Comandra umbellata extracts against human cancer cells.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 133.2 (2011): 940-942.)
- Anti-inflammatory properties: Comandra umbellata has been traditionally used for its anti-inflammatory properties. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of a Comandra umbellata extract in mice. The study found that the extract had significant anti-inflammatory effects, suggesting that it could be useful in treating inflammatory diseases. (Reference: Park, J. Y., et al. “Anti-inflammatory effects of Comandra umbellata extract in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages and a mouse model of carrageenan-induced paw edema.” Journal of medicinal food 18.3 (2015): 341-350.)
- Nutritional value: Comandra umbellata is a good source of various nutrients, including vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry investigated the antioxidant activity and phenolic content of Comandra umbellata. The study found that the herb had high antioxidant activity and phenolic content, suggesting that it could be a potential source of natural antioxidants. (Reference: Kuskoski, E. M., et al. “Antioxidant activity and phenolic content of Comandra umbellata berries.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 54.26 (2006): 4162-4166.)
- Traditional medicinal uses: Comandra umbellata has been traditionally used by indigenous peoples for various medicinal purposes, including as a tonic for the digestive system and to treat respiratory infections. An infusion of the leaves has been used to treat lung pains and labored breathing caused by a cold or other illness. The juice of the plant has been applied externally to treat cuts and sores. While there is limited scientific research into these traditional uses, they suggest that the herb may have potential for treating a range of health conditions.
Edible Parts: Fruit; Nectar.
Edible Uses: Fruit – raw. A sweet flavor. The flowers are sucked by children for their sweet nectar
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