Snow on the Mountain – Aegopodium podagraria variegate

Snow on the Mountain
Snow on the Mountain

‘Herbe Gerard groweth of itself in gardens without setting or sowing

and is so fruitful in its increase that when it hath once taken roote,

it will hardly be gotten out againe,

spoiling and getting every yeare more ground,

to the annoying of better herbe.’

By Gerard

This invasive plant is known to occur in 29 states in the mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and Northwest of North America. It is listed as Invasive, prohibited of banned in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont. It was well established here by 1863, having come from Europe with the early stages of settlement as an ornamental.

Ground Elder (as it is also known) has long been used in medical use. It was cultivated as a food crop and a medicinal during the Middle Ages. It was spread through Europe by the conquering forces, Romans brought it to England. In its use as a treatment for gout it was well welcomed by the monks & bishops of old who ate very rich diets.

An infusion was used to treat rheumatism, arthritis, and disorders of the bladder and intestines. Externally it was used as a poultice in the treatment of burns, stings, wounds and painful joints.

Culpepper said:

‘It is not to be supposed Goutwort hath its name for nothing, but upon experiment to heal the gout and sciatica; as also joint-aches and other cold griefs. The very bearing of it about one eases the pains of the gout and defends him that bears it from the disease.’


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