Latin name: Heracleum maximum Bartram Syn.: H. lanatum Michx.
Botanical family: Apiaceae
Growth habit: Herb
Vernacular name(s): indian rhubarb, cow parsnip (Eng.)
berce trs grande (Fr.)
uptakshku tshtshue (Montagnais)
bi'bgwe'wnck (Ojibwa)
sewapo'kil (Malecite)
piygwana, oskataskwistikwan, askiwiskatask, askiskatask, pakwanahtik, pukwanatik (htik, pick quan ah tick Cree)
Uses:
Steeped with Calmus and given in cholera [Malecite: 65]. Dried, chopped, and rubbed on aching or sore body parts. Cooled decoction used to bathe sore body parts, and the decoction can be drunk for colds [Cree: 13]. Used to keep sickness away and in combating cold and/or influenza [Mi'kmaq: 62].
Roots :Fresh or dried root applied to an aching tooth [Cree 13, 76, 93]. Chewed and juice swallowed to treat tooth ache [Cree 96]. Part of a cancer medicine. Grated and mixed with warm water to make a paste applied to swollen legs. [Metis 13]. Tea used for throat pain [Montagnais 71]. Fresh root pounded and applied to sores as a poultice [Ojibwa 87]. Powdered and made into a paste applied to boils, swellings and chancre [Cree 76]. Mixed with other plants (Nuphar variegatum, Acorus calamus) to make a poultice applied to painful limbs or used for headache [Cree 95]. Steeped and taken as a tea for blood purification, to prevent and cure smallpox, and in consumption [Malecite 65]. Chewed dry to treat sore throat, decoction used to gargle, and poultice applied to boils and sores [Ojibwa 47, 88]. Decoction used for arthritis [Cree 13, 80]. Boiled and used to clean skin infections [Cree 80]. Decoction drunk as a cough medicine [Dene 98].
Roots and leaves :Steam from boiling inhaled to purify the body [Cree 13].
Roots and flowers :Dried, pounded and made into a poultice used in boils [Ojibwa 47].