Feb. 6, 2022

crooked-stem aster, Symphyotrichum prenanthoides

Watched a show yesterday which made the point that correlation is not causation. In a twisted sort of way, crooked-stem aster makes that point too. With plants, we know that easy recognition is much more correlated with medicinal use than is efficacy. There are few groups of plants that are more chemically bland than asters. Yet this one was used to treat colds and coughs and kidney ailments. The stem that slightly flexes at leaf nodes makes it an easy find. And it won't hurt anyone, so why not. Was crooked stem aster an old version of sugar pills? Next time you're sniffling, and some asters are near, give them a try. Do you imagine you feel better? Does the very act of swallowing something make you feel better, at least for the moment? Aha! There's another correlation! Crooked-stem aster grows in fields in CT, DE, IA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, MN, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WI, WV, and ON. Fulton Co OH, 9/6/15. Asterfamily, Asteraceae.