Grindelia is the common name for what is also known as the “pomegranate flower.” Commonly the fruitless, purple-blue flower, the gummy plant is also known as the “ground apple,” or the “wormwood.” This plant, which grows to about three feet – about ten meters – when fully grown, is a perennial herb. The flowers, which range from lilac to deep purple, are the only functional part of the plant. The other parts are thick and woody, which gives the plant its unique and delicious flavor.
Parts Used Most of the parts used in grinding or selling are the flowering tops or leaves of the grindelia. The leaves are mainly used as a garnish for cooking and baking, while the flowering tops are used as a sweetener. Some people also use the tender leaves to help relieve toothache. The parts used in brewing are also the same parts used for flavor and are used to make teas. Many people believe these parts are best used as a natural remedy instead of buying expensive pharmaceutical drugs from the store.
Benefits Though there is no scientific evidence to support the use of grindelia as an herb, most people who have tried it swear by the taste and effectiveness of this sweet tasting wonder. Those who do believe in the medicinal benefits of the herb believe that the main herb is a stimulant that help to increase the appetite and give you energy to help fight fatigue. For those who don’t use sweets and other snacks, they believe the added energy boost will help keep them from becoming too hungry during the day.
Noted culinary herbs in the United States Although not a popular choice with consumers, the most common names for grindelia are most likely found in your local grocery stores. This sweet growing herb is also called “pomegranate” due to the bitter taste it has when chewed. It is often referred to as “gummy bear” because of its similar bitter flavor. Some of the more common names for the herb in the United States include “bear berry”, “pepper flower” and “wormseed”.
Botanical Name The plant has several common names throughout the world including the spice turmeric. In the United States, it is most commonly known simply as “grindel leaf”, and in India it is referred to as “Indian Turmeric”. Regardless of the botanical name, the herb is often referred to as “cupress”, “root” or “stem”. Even though this versatile herb is mainly harvested to make the herb tea, it is also widely used for medicinal purposes including culinary, medicinal and culinary herbs, and culinary flower head.
Uses Many herbs are used for medicinal purposes including Valerian leaf, lemon balm, and even the more traditional Valerian root. This versatile herb has been used to treat a variety of conditions including diabetes, fatigue, nausea, motion sickness, toothaches, muscle spasms, insomnia, coughing, and even cancer. It has also been used to help individuals stop bleeding, regulate menstrual flow, and ease depression. It can be taken both by itself and by mixing it with other ingredients to form tea, which is typically drunk as a beverage instead of being ingested.
Culinary Benefits The most common culinary uses of grindelia are to add flavor and texture to stews, stir-fries, and even salads and vegetable dishes. It is an effective agent to reduce bloating, relieve upset stomachs, and calm frayed nerves. This astringent can even be used as a culinary ingredient to help control blood sugar levels.
Although it may not seem like a particularly exciting culinary herb, grindelia has been proven to have a number of useful medicinal uses. It has shown to reduce heartburn and acid reflux, and has even been known to stop bleeding in people with high blood pressure. As you can see, the health benefits of this perennial herb from Southern India are quite varied and the uses that it has for culinary and medicinal purposes make it a worthy addition to your garden.