Silene vulgaris, (Silene cucubalus, Silene inflata)
Collejas, Sculpit, Stridolo
Bladder campion is a plant that is native to Europe and widespread throughout North America. It is a widely branching plant that grows to be anywhere from 1 to 3 feet tall. It has delicate white and/or pink flowers that have the shape of a balloon and can be used for decoration, in bouquets in fresh or dried forms. The leaves are small and the shape of a narrow oval, and green or greenish-blue. The leaf texture is on the tougher side and lightly rubbery/waxy. There are no hairs on the leaves or stems. The plant prefers neutral to alkali soils that are dry and it is generally found alongside paths and open grassy or rough ground.
The plant provides great nutrition potential and it is very high in essential fatty acids, especially omega-3 (3). The young shoots and leaves are delicately sweet, pea-like tasting, and can be eaten raw. The older, mature leaves are tougher and bitter and are best eaten steamed. The leaves are great for salads, stir-fries, soups, stews, and similar dishes.
Note: Bladder Campion contains saponins, which can be toxic in large quantities. These are neutralized by cooking, however, they are generally poorly absorbed by the human body and pass through without harm.
Medicinally, bladder campion provides some nervous system benefits (1) and has vermifuge properties for expelling worms (1). The juice of the Silene apetala species has been used for eye treatments (2) and has also been used in baths or as a compress for its emollient properties (2).
This plant is not currently being used in homeopathic form.
References & Resources
- The Chicago Medical Journal and Examiner, volume 49, 1884.
- Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants, 1956.
- Fatty Acid Profiles of Some Spanish Wild Vegetables, 2012.