James Reveal's Plants

Mountain Sweet Cicely
Osmorhiza divaricala  Nutt. 

A perennial with a thick root and very aromatic foliage.  The leaves are very large, somewhat downy beneath, and have a flavor rather like Anise, with a scent like Lovage. The first shoots consist of an almost triangular, lacey leaf, with a simple wing curving up from each side of its root. The stem grows from 2 to 3 feet high, bearing many leaves, and white flowers, flowering during May and June. The fruit is remarkably large, an inch long, dark brown, and fully flavored. It is found in mountain pastures throughout the Western U.S. 

Food Uses:  
Used as a salad herb, or boiled, when the root, leaves, and seed were all uses. The leaves have a flavor rather like Anise, with a scent like Lovage.  The leaves taste as if sugar had been sprinkled over them.  The roots are supposed to be not only excellent in a salad, but when boiled and eaten with oil and vinegar.

Medical Uses:  
Aromatic, stomachic, carminative and expectorant. Useful in coughs and flatulence, and as a gentle stimulant for debilitated stomachs. The fresh root may be eaten freely or used in infusion with brandy or water. A valuable tonic for girls from 15 to 18 years of age. The roots are antiseptic, and a decoction is used for the bites of vipers and mad dogs The distilled water is said to be diuretic, and helpful in pleurisy, and the essence to be aphrodisiac. The decoction of roots in wine is also said to be effective for consumption, in morning and evening doses of 4 to 8 oz.., while the balsam and ointment cure green wounds, stinking ulcers, and ease the pain of gout.