Treat internal hemorrhage, inflammatory disorders, epileptic cases, acute mania using Foxglove

Common name: The foxglove plant is commonly referred to as the following names, witch gloves, dead men's bells, fairy's glove or fairy's caps etc.

Occurrence: The Foxglove scientifically known as digitalis lanata is a beautiful looking indigenous herb that is widely seen throughout Europe. It is commonly observed as a wild-flower in Great Britain, and grows freely in some of the eastern counties of England. The foxglove herb grows best in siliceous soil and loam, and hence can be seen in Madeira and the Azores too.

Parts used: The medical properties of the plant can be found in the leaves of the foxglove plant.

Medicinal uses of Foxglove:

Digitalis lanata is commonly used to treat heart disorders. Extracts from the foxglove plant, especially from the leaves are extremely effective in increasing the functionalities of all forms of muscle tissue, but more importantly that of the heart and the arterioles. One of the most important properties of the foxglove plant is its action on the blood circulation of the individual. When foxglove is absorbed in the body, the first consequence is a shortening or tensing of the heart and arteries, leading to a spurt in the blood pressure. Foxglove is also used to make an irregular pulse become regular. In cases of cardiac dilatation the use of foxgloves improves the nutrition of the heart by increasing the amount of blood.

Herbalists also use foxgloves in small or moderate doses as diuretic and a valuable remedy in the treatment of dropsy, particularly when dropsy is related to heart disorders. Moreover the foxglove plant is also useful in treating internal hemorrhage, inflammatory disorders, epileptic cases, acute mania and various other diseases.

In the earlier days, foxglove was used by the Irish as a healing herb as a folk remedy in Ireland as treatment to skin disorders for boils and ulcers; it was equally useful in treating headaches as well as paralysis. One of the main chemical compounds responsible for healing in the foxglove plant is a glycoside known as digitoxin. In recent times, digitoxin has been chemically isolated in medical labs and is now artificially synthesized for mass production and medical purposes. However, ingesting high doses of the foxglove herb can lead to extremely dangerous side effects. The chemical compounds found in the herb can bring on cardiac rhythm disruptions, sudden anxiety and mental depression, heart attacks or asphyxiation if consumed in large quantities.

Administered: Foxglove as an herbal medicine is usually administered in the form of a tincture, infusion, powdered foxglove leaves, fluid extracts from the leaves of the foxglove plant, solid extract, or in the form of grains.