Pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea) is a beautiful flower that also has many medicinal benefits. This is a plant you’ll especially want to have in your medicinal cabinet if you, or anyone in your family, suffers from seasonal allergies.
What is Pearly Everlasting?
Many people have seen the beautiful, delicate looking flowers of pearly everlasting in fresh and dried flower bouquets without knowing exactly what flower they are looking at.
Pearly everlasting is a wildflower that can be found all over North America and Asia. It can also be cultivated; I have some growing in a planter on my patio!
The plant grows to about 3 feet tall and has long, skinny leaves that run up the entire stem. The flowers are small, round, and when they open they contain a little yellowish orange center. As the flowers mature the center can become more brown. The flowers grow in clusters at the end of the stem.
To gain the medicinal benefits of pearly everlasting, you’ll want to collect the aerial parts of the plant: flowers, leaves, and stem.
Medicinal Benefits of Pearly Everlasting
Let’s Take On Allergies, and Colds!
Pearly everlasting is a plant you want on your side during seasonal allergy season. Because allergies and colds share many of the same symptoms, this plant can be your ally for both ailments.
It can help with:
- runny nose
- itchy eyes
This isn’t the plant to turn to if you’re having an allergic reaction to something specific, but it can help with hay fever, pollen, and other seasonal type allergies.
So many plants have antibacterial properties, and pearly everlasting is no exception. The properties of plants that give them antibacterial, antiviral and other “anti” qualities are developed as a protection for the plants against their own bacterial, viral, and fungal invaders. These compounds just so happen to benefit us in many cases, too!
The antibacterial properties of this plant are not super widespread across all types of bacteria, but it is particularly effective for:
- E. coli
A tincture or tea of pearly everlasting can help with gastrointestinal problems, including:
- food poisoning
The Cherokee, Cheyenne, Iroquois, and Okanagan-Colville Native American tribes were the first ones I found documented that used this plant for gastrointestinal issues. The uses for colds and allergies goes back much further and is more widespread across North American and Asian countries.
How to Take Pearly Everlasting For Optimal Medicinal Benefits
The best way to take pearly everlasting to get the most medicinal benefit will depend on what benefit you are in need of. The best two methods I’ve found are:
A tincture is perfect for allergy symptoms. Start with one drop 3-4 times a day, and work up drop by drop until you see a difference. That may take only a couple drops for you, or it may take 8-9 drops at each dosage. Each person is different and will react differently to each plant, and only take the amount you need. Taking more than necessary can negate the benefits and overload your body as it processes the plant ally.
If you’re using it for gastrointestinal issues, then a tea is probably the better bet but a tincture can be used. Teas tend to be a little more soothing for stomach and intestinal issues. To make a tea, use about an ounce of dried plant material steeped for 10 minutes in boiling water. Make sure to cover the mug so the medicinal properties don’t evaporate with the steam!
To use as an antibacterial, either a tincture or tea would work fine.