About Snake head, chelone

This lovely plant is also referred to as: Chelone, Snake-head, Turtle-head, Turtle-bloom, Shellflower. Salt-rheum and so on. This little flowers, grows up to 4 feet high. It also grows sparingly on the margins of wet woods, and rivers all around the countryside in Romania. It is a perennial, smooth herb, which has oblong shaped leaves. They are short and dense, with terminal spikes and white or purple like rose flowers. The leaves have a slight tea-like odor and a bitter taste. So donít try and eat it!  However you can use its bitter leaves with water and alcohol to prepare a decoction. Chelonin is an eclectic medicine prepared from Chelone, and is a brown, bitter powder given as a tonic laxative. You must plant them in pots to prevent the roots from creeping too far.     The name of the genus Chelone is derived from the Greek word meaning a tortoise, because corolla looks like a tortoise-head.¬† Medicinal Uses: The leaves have anti-bilious and anthelmintic properties and they can be used to cure dyspepsia, debility and jaundice, in diseases of the liver. People in Romania sometimes recur to natureís herbs to cure various illnesses. Used as an ointment it is recommended for irritable ulcers, inflamed breasts or piles. Growing the snake head: You should grow these flowers outdoors. Add them in a sunny or partially shaded area of your garden, in parts where the soil is moist and rich. The plants can be transplanted in the early spring or the autumn. Seedlings takes about 2-7 weeks to germinate at about 15 degrees Centigrade. The seedlings must be be planted out with a spacing of about 20 to 30cm.