NL: Canadese fijnstraal / F: Vergerette du Canada
Native from North America, this plant made its way all over Europe and many other parts of the world. It may not be the prettiest plant one would choose to keep in the garden, neither is it among the most popular plants in modern herbalism. Nevertheless Horseweed, or Canadian Fleabane, as it is also called, was used by most Native North Americans tribes to treat various illnesses, including diarrhea, fever, running nose, rhinitis, but also used to arrest bleedings or to relieve stomach aches, earaches or headaches. Externally, it was made into poultices to treat burns and sore joints. Roots were used in decoction teas to treat menstrual complaints. Dried and burned as incense it was used to ward off insects.
Further one can still find references of folk usages of this plant to treat cholera, rheumatism, tuberculosis, bronchitis, inflamed tonsils, diabetes, menopausal symptoms, kidney and bladder conditions, eczema and ringworm.
It is an edible plant, especially the young leaves, cooked, can be prepared as potherb, or used in the same way as other dark greens. Because of its powerful medicinal properties, it should be eaten sparingly, not in large amounts. It can also be dried and used as food spice - it gives an aromatic flavour to dishes.
More information on Conyza canadensis:
Plants for a Future: Conyza canadensis
Antiviral activity of Conyza canadensis (L)
Antibacterial, antioxidant and cytotoxic activities of extracts of Conyza canadensis
Antimicrobial activities of Conyzolide and Conyzoflavone from Conyza canadensis