What is Lomatium Dissectum and how was it discovered?

Lomatium dissectum is a member of the parsley family. It was used extensively by Native Americans in the Northwest U.S. and Northern Nevada, where it grows commonly. They used it for colds, flu and upper respiratory infections but many other uses have also been noted.

In 1918, Dr. Ernst Krebs, M.D., who lived in Carson City, Nevada discovered that people of the Washoe nation seemed to be recovering well from an influenza epidemic.

He asked some of the elders about their medicine. They called it “Toh-sa” or “Do-sa” and showed him how to prepare it. Dr. Krebs noticed its biting odor of balsamic resins and called it Balsamea. However, botanists later named it Lomatium Dissectum when they classified it. It is commonly called “biscuit root” as native used the pulp to pound into cakes, sometimes also known as the name, “Indian carrot”.

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