New England Aster

New England Aster

Symphyotricum novae-agliae

The New England Aster imparts medicinal properties of immense value. The stems and roots are used as poultices in relieving pain and healing wounds. The root alone is helpful in attenuating diarrhea and fever.

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names: It Brings the Fall
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: No
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Roots, Leaves and Flowers
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About New England Aster

New England Asters wave from the Asteraceae family (as the name indicates). They have taken after the footsteps of the rest of their family members and enter the bloom phase late. These typical asters contain hairy, un-branched stem with lance-shaped leaves. The violet to lavender daisy-like ray florets put on a spectacular show in late summers. This herbaceous plant can reach a good height of 50 inches at most.

The New England Aster imparts medicinal properties of immense value. The stems and roots are used as poultices in relieving pain and healing wounds. The root alone is helpful in attenuating diarrhea and fever. Moreover, this nutrient-dense herb has an affinity for the respiratory system. This makes it useful for asthma, congestions, spasms, and seasonal allergies like cold and flu.

The exudate of New England Aster root is quite beneficial for catarrh. The root decoction rejuvenates the weakened skin and prevents the occurrence of eruptive skin diseases. The whole plant has sedative property which makes it fruitful for managing anxiety and stress.

Apart from treating menacing disorders, New England Aster leaves and flowers are also employed for complimenting the salads. The aerial parts of New England Aster are used for dying fabrics. 

Growing

New England Asters can be started via seeds or transplantation in early spring. They can be started both indoors and outdoors. The seeds are sown superficially in rich moist soil as the plant does not prefer dried clay.

They are provided with water on a regular basis in the form of fine mist as heavy showers can bury the seeds deep into the soil, hindering the reach of sunlight. The seeds substantially need sunlight, air, and water for proper growth.

The seeds of New England Aster can germinate within 14 to 21 days if sown correctly. Given the proper temperature and favorable growth parameters, the plant soon leaps through the growing season to reach the blooming phase in late summers.

The ray florets are visited by bumblebees, bees, butterflies, leaf-cutter bees, and miner bees to lend a helping hand in the process of pollination. After the pollination, a hairy seed comes into the world with wings that can take it to place with the aid of air to begin a new lifecycle.

Harvesting

The leaves and flowers are harvested in fall whereas the seeds are harvested when the central yellow disk has turned brown and all the petals have withered.

The leaves, stems, flowers, and roots are cut back using the gardening shears. The seeds can be collected by jerking the seed heads in a bucket or paper bag.

The harvest plant material of New England Aster is air-dried or dehydrated until crispy and stored in an airtight container.

Usage

New England Aster is a long-lived perennial that confers a plethora of health benefits. It is incorporated as an active ingredient in copious medicinal preparations to achieve relief from numerous nuisances.

  • Tincture - Infuse fresh & dried chopped new england aster leaves/flowers in grain alcohol for 4 to 6 weeks. Strain the liquid and place it in a dark and dry place.
  • Tea - Dried flowers and leaves are soaked in water for 10 to 15 minutes to form New England Aster tea.
  • Decoction - The roots are decocted in water for 5 to 6 hours and strained to form New England Aster decoction.
  • Syrup - Fresh or dried leaves and flowers are simmered in a sugar solution to form New England Aster syrup.