As I mentioned above, Bishop’s Weed is also known as Goutweed, and was reputed to be a treatment for arthritis and gout. The Latin name (Aegopodium podagraria), suggests these historical uses. Aegopodium comes from Greek’s aix and aigos, meaning “goat” and podos which translates to “foot”. The Latin word for gout is podagra, which lends itself to gout weed’s species name. It was also known as “Goat Weed” due its trifoliate leaf structure resembling a goat’s foot.
Bishop’s Weed well established in an existing bed.
Some people apply bishop’s weed directly to the skin for skin conditions including psoriasis and vitiligo.”
Due to it’s aggressive growing habit and invasive classification, if you must plant Bishop’s Weed consider isolating it in containers, either away from the rest of your garden or by installing deep garden bed edging material to eliminate rhizome spreading.
From Web MD:
“Bishop’s weed is a plant. The seeds are used to make medicine.
Once established, bishop’s weed is very difficult to control. The most effective and environmentally friendly method is to smother the entire bed in early spring or over the course of a season with cardboard or weed cover. Plant foliage will die but the rhizomes will continue to sprout new plants if not removed in their entirety.
Here is the plant description from Minnasotawildflowers.info:
“Leaves are compound; basal and lower stem leaves are long stalked and twice compound with up to 9 leaflets. Leaflets are 1 to 3 inches long, generally egg-shaped with pointed tips, toothed, mostly hairless, and often deeply cleft and asymmetrical at the base. “Wild” forms have solid green leaves. Cultivated forms have variegated leaves, green to gray with white edging. The stems are branched, ridged, and hairless. Fruit is oval, about 1/6 inch long, slightly compressed, and ribbed. As fruit develops, the styles bend at the base and spread away from each other, but eventually fall off. When mature, the fruit splits into 2 seeds.”
The prescription drug methoxsalen (Oxsoralen, Methoxypsoralen) was originally prepared from bishop’s weed, but it is now made in the laboratory. Methoxsalen is used to treat psoriasis, a skin condition.
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