Name

Milkvetch

Latin

Astragalus

Secret Meaning

Your presence softens my pains

Alternative Names:

Locoweed, Goat's Thorn

Facts & Folkore:

Also known as locoweed and goat's-thorn, this plant, (a member of the pea family) this plant's common name comes from the belief that it has a positive effect on goat milk production. Certain species of Astragalus have a long history of use as a herbal medicine, particularly in traditional Chinese and Persian medicine. Today, medical research supports the use of many of its chemical constituents, either alone or in combination with other herbs, for potential benefits for the immune system, heart, and liver, and as an adjunctive therapy for cancer. Some Astragalus species can be toxic with several species native to North America containing the alkaloid swainsonine, which may cause "locoism" in livestock! The Greek name of this plant is derived from a word meaning "anklebone". Ankle bones were once used as a form of dice, and some etymologists conjecture that Astragalus so named because the rattling seedpods sounded like the rolling dice.

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