Gumweed is found in disturbed roadsides and beside streams at elevations between 2,300 and 7,500 ft. It is a decumbent to erect, multi-branched perennial herb up to 40 inches tall. The 1/2 to 2 and 1/2 inch leaves are gray-green, and toothy with each tooth having a yellow bump near its tip. Gumweed produces numerous flower heads in open, branching arrays. Each head usually contains numerous yellow ray flowers that surround many small disc flowers. The plant blooms from July through late September. As the buds mature, they form a bowl shape that is filled with a milky white resin that smells of balsam. The resin lightly coats the flowers that grow from the buds as well as the small leaves that surround the lower part of the bud. Gumweed buds can be chewed like chewing gum, hence the name. It is very difficult to dry gumweed and so teas and alcohol tinctures are usually made of fresh or partly dried flowers and buds. Teas of Gumweed were used by American Natives with dry, unproductive coughs. Externally, they used gumweed to help treat poison ivy and poison oak.
History and Folklore:
The genus Grendelia is named for the European botanist, D.H. Grindel, who lived in Latvia and Estonia from 1776 to 1836. Native Americans used Gumweed extensively and passed their knowledge on to European settlers.
Cultivation and Harvest:
Harvest the buds in late June or early July and flower heads in late July or early August when there is plenty of resin.
Do not take if pregnant or nursing.
Traditional Herbal Actions:
Anti-inflamatory, Antimicrobial, Antispasmodic, Expectorant, Antibacterial, Vulnerary
Curly-top Gumweed, Curlycup Gumweed
Grindelia aphanactis, G. arizonica, G. camporum, G. integrifolia, G. nana, G. nuda, G. squarosa, G. stricta
Ingredients: Gumweed (Grindelia squarrosa)
None of these items or statements are approved by FDA. Consult your physician before taking any supplement. Do not take herbs or tinctures during pregnancy without consulting your healthcare provider. This product is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. All information here is for entertainment and educational purposes only.
*This statement has not been verified by the FDA and is only referenced here as a fun fact and/or for historical commentary, is not to be used as medical advice in any way. Consult your doctor before ingesting any herbal product.