Table of Contents
- Edible Uses of Bogbean
- Medicinal Uses of Bogbean
- Alternative Uses of Marsh Clover
- Growing Menyanthes Trifoliata
Bogbean AKA Buckbean (menyanthes trifoliata) is native to Ontario and found in wet, boggy habitats. It’s used for brewing and medicinally. Bogbean is closely related to gentian and it shows.
Called buckbean in Haliburton Flora, bogbean (menyanthes trifoliata) is uncommon here. It likes sphagnum mats in bogs and shallow, boggy edges of small lakes, and slow moving streams. And it likes it soaking wet. Sometimes it is called “bog myrtle” but the confusion with myrica gale would be in name only, as they don’t look alike. You may find them near each other though.
The specimen pictured is from a quiet lake with a many feet deep bed of sawdust from an old mill. Bogbean loves the acidic waters in this boggy “lake”.
Edible Uses of Bogbean
The leaves have a strong and bitter taste, which can be used as a hop substitute in home brewing, especially for making schnapps. Curiously, the bog myrtle we previously covered comes to mind for schnapps as well and there’s plenty growing near the pictured specimen.
Medicinal Uses of Bogbean
Bogbean is primarily said to support these body systems:
Medicinal tags include Alterative, Antirheumatic, Astringent, Diuretic, Emmenagogue, Febrifuge, Laxative and Stomachic. See Medicinal tag key for more information.
Common usage includes dried leaves used to improve weak digestion and stimulate the appetite. It’s closely related to gentian, which has similar uses with appetite stimulation leading the list. It’s seen uses for other digestive issues as long as conditions like colitis or diarrhea aren’t present. Bogbean can cause the runs and in large does it’s emetic (will cause vomiting).
The leaf extract can be found in herbal mixes for conditions like edema, rheumatism, shingles (St. John’s-wort comes to mind for shingles too), and skin diseases including scabies; quite the variety for a plant most folks have never heard of.
Alternative Uses of Marsh Clover
It’s been used in herbal smoking mixes.
Growing Menyanthes Trifoliata
I’ve heard someone say it can take over your pond, but I’ve only ever seen lone plants, hard to spot among cattails and flag. I’ve only ever noticed it when its unique flowers are fully bloomed. Aweme borer (papaipema aweme) is one of the moths that uses it as a host plant, and the rare and endangered bogbean buckmoth (hemileuca). Planting this in your landscape may help this namesake buckmoth recover outside Ottawa area or wherever it is still present.
It’d be a pretty addition to ones pond, stream or bog garden! It looks great mixed in with northern blue flag (iris versicolor). You can plant it right in shallow edges or use containers therein.
Don’t consume if pregnant or trying to conceive.
It may have blood thinning properties.
And the Usual Cautions:
1) Most medicinal herbs, if edible, are meant to be eaten in moderation, even sparingly. Some require extra preparation.
2) People can be allergic or sensitive to nearly any plant; try new herbs one at a time at your own risk.
3) For medicinal use, I must recommend receiving a diagnosis and working with a reputed health care provider. I generally do not post specific treatments and dosages because I think that is best between you and your health care provider, and ideally monitored.
4) Anyone pregnant, nursing, or taking prescription drugs should talk to a health care professional before adding new food items to their diet.
5) Many plants have look-a-likes, and sometimes they are poisonous.
#ads in References
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Every book I reference that is available on Amazon is linked to with an associates link.