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Cnidiium monnieri is a plant native to Asia and Europe and was also found in the north american state of Oregon. It belongs to the parsley and carrot family, hence also known as Monnier´s snowparsley and the resemblance to the carrot flowers.
The plant can reach heights up to 80 cm with alternate bipinnate leaves. It produces clusters of white/pinkish five-stellate flowers from April to July.
Cnidiium has a long history of its fruits and seeds being used in Chinese Traditional Medicine to improve libido, to aid reproductive functions, help liver functions and to help with skin conditions such as eczema (you can find it as a ingredient in a lot of anti-itch lotions). The effects of Cnidiium in allergy management, osteoporosis, and cancer are currently being confirmed by scientific studies.
One of the most traditional uses given to Cnidiium it is to improve libido, both in men and women. The nitric acid in the fruits and seeds relaxes the muscles in the genital area, working in a similar way to sex hormones. This will result in a increased blood flow to the genital areas, which enhances sexual performance. In men, it works in a manner similar to viagra, both directly on the muscles of the penis and within the brain to activate the appropriate pathways. That is way its being currently used to treat erectile disfunction.
You can use the seeds directly or you can use to cultivate the plant.
Although not much is know about the cultivation of Cnidiium, it is the most likely that it will require a place with a lot of sun and a well-drained soil. You can sow the seeds in late winter in a protected environment. When the seedlings are big enough you can prick them and change them to individual pots. In the summer they can be planted outdoors in garden beds.
To use the seeds directly an amount of 6 to 15 grams should be used. The seeds should be powdered and the powder can be added to food or to a tea/drink.
Exceed the recommended dose might result in nausea and vomiting.