Dicentra formosa

Bleeding Heart
Dicentra formosa


bleeding heart

the plant: a beautiful perennial native herb that grows up to 1 & 1/2 feet. The leaves are basal, lacy and fern-like on long petioles with toothed margins. The flowers give the plant its name - pink, hollow heart-shaped charms that dangle like lanterns on a strand. The outer two petal tips are spreading, with the inner petals fused at the tip and crested.

Bleeding heart grows in moist thickets, forests and stream banks in western North America from British Columbia to central California, in central and north coast mountain ranges to the coast, and in some places in central north western North America.

parts used: root & leaf, root is strongest

medicinal actions: tonic alterative, analgesic

preparation: fresh root tincture, dry root tincture or dry herb tincture; flower essence

indications: Not a common herb to find in the western herbalists medicine chest, bleeding heart is a medicinal native that Michael Moore describes as a tonic herb for strengthening and healing some kinds of weakened people, and as an analgesic remedy for deeper nerve pain and imbalances.

Bleeding Heart has been used by Native people as a toothace remedy and can be combined with other nervines such as California Poppy, Pedicularis or Yarrow to create a well-rounded remedy for different types of nerve pain from surface to deep. The plant can also be poulticed and applied to sprains, bruises or wounds to address pain, and may be most effective when combined with topical application of the tincture beneath a hot towel.

The tincture internally can address nervous system issues like fibromyalgia and RSDS, and bleeding heart close upbleeding heart foliagebeyond physical pain it can be helpful with nervous fear & anxiety due to shock, grief or stress. it can aslo relieve a hypersensitive type of overall weakness, and has been used historically for building appetite, stimulating metabolism and bolstering the health, strength and vitality of a person who has been chronically weakened by illness or cold, dry anxiety. The flower essence can be useful in healing an aching, wounded or broken heart, or increasing powers of compassion for yourself or others.

contraindications: not for use during pregnanc, overt nervous system illness or with prescription medications. may induce false positive in urine tests for opiates.

note: This information is not a replacement for a trained herbalist. Please consult your medical professional before treating yourself or others with this or any other herbal remedy.


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