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Dicentra formosa (Bleeding hearts)

This beautiful ornamental perennial gets its name because the petals are shaped like hearts and the longer bottom parts almost look like a tear. Kahlee Keane in her book �Wild Medicine of Coastal British Columbia� recommends using it only under the guidance of a skilled practitioner as many Dicentra species are toxic. She explains that internally, Dicentra formosa has been used to alleviate trauma (body and spirit) by calming the cycle of grief and shock after trauma to help the person carry on in the midst of that pain. Bleeding hearts also helps with hypersensitivity to touch on the skin or clothing. It can also be used as a salve on scar tissues left by medical procedures.