Jan. 13, 2020

goat's-rue, Galega officinalis

In parts of western North America, goat's-rue has become invasive, but in other parts of the country it hardly persists. I found it near Saginaw in 1975, and it was still there, apparently happy, ten years later. This was long a herbal diuretic and diabetes medicine. It actually works to lower blood sugar, but there are side effects. It has been the basis for a line of modern drugs, leading to metformin, an oral treatment. In very much earlier times, it was also used for black plague, worms, and snake bite. Goat's-rue has been reported from CO, CT, MA, MD, ME, MI, NE, NY, PA, UT, WA, and ON. Beal Gardens, MSU, 7/27/11. Bean family, Fabaceae.