Common Name Dyers greenwood
Edible seed is possible coffee substitute. Flower buds are pickled and used as a substitute for capers.
Genista tinctoria (dyer's broom) is a species of flowering plant of the family Fabaceae, native to meadows and pastures in Europe and Turkey. Its other common names include dyer’s greenweed, dyer's whin, waxen woad and waxen wood.
The twigs, leaves and flowering stems are cathartic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, stimulant and vasoconstrictor. The seeds are also sometimes used. The plant is harvested in early summer as it comes into flower and can be dried for later use. It should not be stored for more than 12 months since its active ingredients break down. The powdered seeds act as a mild purgative and were at one time used to make a plaster for broken limbs. A decoction of the whole plant has been used as a remedy for dropsy, rheumatism and gout. A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh shoots. It is used in the treatment of rheumatism.
A very good quality yellow dye is obtained from the whole plant, but especially from the flowers and young shoots[. It produces a very good quality green when mixed with woad (Isatis tinctoria). Alum, cream of tartar and sulphate of lime are used to fix the colour. The stems can be dried and stored until the dye is required. A fibre obtained from the stems is used for coarse cloth and cordage. Plants can be used as a ground cover when spaced about 45cm apart each way.
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