Perennial herb growing to 2 ft (60 cm). Has narrow leaves and short spikes of creamy-white to purple double-lipped flowers.
Habitat & Cultivation
Balmony is native to eastern North America, balmony thrives in habitats such as marshland, wet woodland, and riverbanks. It is harvested when in flower during summer or autumn.
Contains resins and bitters.
History & Folklore
Balmony’s genus name, Chelone, means “tortoise” in Greek, referring to the flower head’s supposed resemblance to the head of the tortoise.
Medicinal Actions & Uses
A strongly bitter remedy, balmony is principally used to treat gallstones and other gallbladder problems. It stimulates bile flow and has a mildly laxative action. It can be taken to relieve nausea, vomiting, and intestinal colic, and to expel worms. It may also be antidepressant. Balmony is a suitable remedy for children.