Heliotrope (Heliotropium spp.)

Heliotrope (Heliotropium spp.)

Other common names: Turnsole, cherry pie plant

*Note: This plant has toxic constituents and therefore is ONLY recommended for use in homeopathic preparations.

The following information may not be re-posted, copied or published without my permission and appropriate credit given. Please contact me via email (listed on the About page) if you wish to re-publish any of the information on my blog.

Family: Boraginaceae

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 

Harvest:

For homeopathic use, the plant is harvested just as the flowers start to open.

Part used: Whole plant

Constituents:

Pyrrolizidine alkaloids, helindicine, lycopsamine, heliotrine, indicine, heleurine, supinine, supinidine, rapanone, fatty acids, retronecine and others.

Indications:

Heliotrope is used in homeopathic preparations designed to treat uterine conditions, fatigue, blood disorders, lymphatic congestion and sore throat due to strain. The flowers are also used to make perfume.

Medicinal preparations:

Internal

Homeopathic formulae only.

External

I know of no external applications of heliotrope, aside from its use in perfumery.

Contraindications:

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Heliotrope is not used outside of homeopathy and cosmetic uses, due to its potential liver toxicity in large doses. Do not take this plant internally and do not take without the guidance of a certified homeopathic practitioner. Do not allow animals to consume this plant.

I suggest consulting a pharmacist or physician before starting any herbal supplement if you are taking a prescription medication or have serious underlying health concerns.

Energetic/traditional use:

Heliotrope has a strong affiliation with the sun, as its flowers turn to track the sun’s movement across the sky. It was once used as a food colouring, and the skin condition dermatomyositis was termed “heliotrope rash” due to its resemblance to the purple flowers.

While we don’t take heliotrope internally, many insects find it extremely useful. Some dragonflies use the same constituents we find toxic (pyrrolizidine alkaloids) in order to produce pheromones that enable them to find a mate.

Energetically, heliotrope is known for inducing prophetic, vivid dreams. It is associated with unrequited love, perhaps because of the story about a water nymph named Clytie, who pined endlessly for the sun god, Helios (who abandoned her for another). When Clytie died, Helios turned her into a heliotrope plant, and she continued to follow the sun faithfully each day.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is intended as general education on herbs and is not intended to take the place of medical care. Please consult a health care professional before embarking on any health regime.

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