Alchemilla vulgaris / Alchemilla mollis
NL: Vrouwenmantel / F: Alchémille
This plant, as its latin name suggests ("Alchemilla" = "little magical one"), is historically linked to a long list of “magical uses”. The water secretion from its leaves was used in various mystical potions, including potions from alchemists trying to produce gold. Its sacredness was shared in different cultures around the world, and it was believed to help to keep youth and beauty and it was even used to uplift breasts.
While the “magical” applications of Lady’s Mantle are now left behind in history books, many of its medicinal properties have been scientifically recognized. Some of these properties include wound healing, astringent, soothing, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic.
Alchemilla contains various substances that help regenerate skin and connective tissue, making it known as one of the best vulnerary plants. It has been widely applied in herbal medicine to treat eczema, ulcers, rashes, burns, insect bites, cuts and bruises.
Currently Alchemilla has been “prescribed” by herbalists around the world to help treat conditions of women’s reproductive system, such as excessive and painful menstruation, vaginal discharge, fibrosis and endometriosis. It is also said to reduce menopausal symptoms and to help regulate the menstrual cycle. Some report its use to reduce spasmodic and convulsive conditions and to improve sleep. Also used to treat water retention, diarrhea, sore mouth and throat .
Next to all that, the young leaves are edible, raw or cooked.
Alchemilla is found growing in the wild but as this plant has won the hearts of many conventional gardeners, we can find it growing pretty much everywhere, even in urban areas. Lovely!