The botany can be confusing. It is sometimes referred to as Anemone and other times labelled Pulsatilla. In the herb community, I learned it as Pulsatilla. I consider the two names interchangeable.
Many species are used therapeutically including Anemone patens, A. tuberosa and A. occidentalis. With some extra TLC, I have been able to cultivate Anemone vulgaris on our property at 7,000’ in northern Arizona.
It is in the Ranunculaceae family which connects it to other strong acting, acrid tasting herbs such as Black Cohosh and Clematis. In general, herbs in this family need to be dosed carefully.
Pasque Flower (Pasque refers to Easter and this plant flowers in April). Another common name is Windflower.
Energy & Tastes:
Acrid, hot, light
Its effect can be quick and dramatic. Superbly useful for the overactive, agitated Vata mind. If the inside of your head feels like a pinball machine, this is the herb for you.
Especially helpful for coming down after an overly stimulating day at work. This plant could even be thought of as a Happy Hour replacement herb.
Its action is more about relaxing the mind and nervous system and less about directly relaxing the physical body. However, relaxing one usually affects the other.
Anemone doesn’t force one to sleep – rather it allows one to sleep through slowing the mental chatter.
Some folks find this plant helpful during the acute phase of a panic-anxiety attack. Use small doses (1-5 drops) every 15 minutes. Keep in mind that this doesn’t work for everyone and avoiding the cause of the attack is still important.
A possible tincture formula is:
Withania -115 ml
Pulsatilla – 5 ml
Take ½ to 1 tsp, 2 to 3 x a day
This is relaxing but not sedating. A previously stressed person may fall asleep if they are underslept but the formula itself is not considered sedating.
Safety Issues & Contraindications:
Anemone is a low dose herb. Using a fresh plant tincture, most people feel the effects with 1-5 drops and within a few minutes. Some sources list this plant as being toxic or poisonous. Its toxicity is dose dependent. Used at the appropriate low doses, it is considered very safe.
Do not use with a slow heart rate or during pregnancy.
Pulsatilla is a common homeopathic remedy. This Profile refers only to its herbal uses.
Preferred Method of Preparation:
Fresh plant tincture of aerial (above ground) parts. The dried plant is consider much weaker and I have only used the fresh tincture.
The Plant Profiles are brief materia medica summaries of plants encountered during plant walks or introduced during class on our longer programs. They are presented here to help students organize plant info on an ongoing basis. Although the Profiles are not meant to be comprehensive, they are offered here to the public in the hope that others find these pages useful.