Carnivorous plants have been used extensively for medication and other purposes. In the past, plants were virtually the only source of medicinal preparations. A plant such as Drosera that was able to retain its droplet of mucilage during the day without evaporation was believed to have extraordinary medicinal powers.
Macerated Drosera leaves or extracts of leaves were used externally to treat warts, corns, and sunburn. Extracts or teas made from the leaves were used to treat internal disorders including tuberculosis, asthma, whooping cough, catarrh of the lower respiratory tract, arteriosclerosis, eye and ear inflammations, liver pain, morning sickness, dropsy, various stomach maladies, syphilis, toothaches, intestinal problems, as a tranquilizer, diuretic, and it was believed to have some aphrodisiacal power. When homeopathy was in vogue, the extract was also used to cause irritation of the skin because it was believed that if the skin was inflamed, an agent which caused inflammation would cure it. This is the theory behind producing and using vaccines for disease control. Scientists have discovered an anti-spasmodic agent in some Drosera species.
The leaves were applied to cattle sores. Mixtures of extract of the leaves and linseed oil were used for treating wounds. Leaves or their extracts have been used to curdle milk and to make a milk-type dessert.
The fluid in the unopened leaves was used to cure bed-wetters by pouring the fluid of the unopened pitchers on the head of the individuals, who later also drank some of it.
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