The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

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Kidney Vetch

Scientific Names

Kidney Vetch

  • Anthyllis vulneraria L.
  • Pea family

Common Names

  • Ladies’ fingers
  • Lamb’s toes
  • Staunchwort

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Parts Usually Used

Flowering tops
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Kidney vetch is a European perennial plant; the procumbent or erect stem grows from a strong taproot to a length of 8-16 inches. The basal leaves are petioled and simple or pinnate; the stem leaves are odd-pinnate, the leaflets lanceolate with the odd leaflet larger than the others. The yellow flowers are arranged in ovoid or subglobose, clover-like heads, appearing from May to September.

Another variety: The Chinese use a plant they call vetch (Vicia hirsuta), the Chinese name is Ch’iao-yao. Recommended for chronic malarial difficulties.
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Where Found

Found in limestone soils, dry meadows, hills, and railroad embankments.
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Medicinal Properties

Astringent
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Uses

A warm infusion of kidney vetch can be used to wash wounds, which are then covered with a poultice which is renewed every hour. The tea is often given to children as a mild purgative, and it sometimes helps to allay vomiting in children.
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Formulas or Dosages

Kidney vetch can be used fresh or dried.

Infusion: steep 1 tsp. flower heads in 1/2 cup water. Take 1 cup per day, sweetened with honey.
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Bibliography

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! Chinese Medicinal Herbs, compiled by Shih-Chen Li, Georgetown Press, San Francisco, California, 1973.

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

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