In the year 1785, a Dr. Withering reported
in An Account of a Foxglove that Foxglove was a diuretic and
a most appropriate treatment for draining the body of excess fluid
(dropsy). According to Timothy Coffey in his entertaining book The
History and Folklore of Wildflowers, "...Foxglove was
remarkably effective [for dropsy], but not because it is a diuretic. One
of the major causes of dropsy (fluid accumulation) is congestive heart
failure. A damaged heart pumps blood at low pressure, allowing fluid to
leak out of the capillaries, into the tissues, which then swell into
dropsy. Digitalis strengthens cardiac contraction and enables the heart to
deliver blood to the rest of the body at higher pressure, thus keeping
fluid from leaking out of the capillaries. Digitalis preparations are used
to treat almost every type of heart disease".
Just a reminder that
Foxgloves are poisonous and should not be used by anyone for anything
except gazing at; unless of course, you are a bee.