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072  Fumaria officinalis L.

Papaveraceae

Nome comune: Fumaria 

Fumaria officinalis (Common Fumitory or Earth smoke) is the most common species of the genus Fumaria in Western and Central Europe. It is an herbaceous annual plant, which grows erect, with stalks about 10 to 50 cm long. The fruit is an achene. It contains alkaloids, potassium salts, and tannins. It is also a major source of fumaric acid. The "smoky" or "fumy" origin of its name is uncertain. It was traditionally thought to be good for the eyes, and to remove skin blemishes. In modern times herbalists use it to treat skin diseases, and conjunctivitis; as well as to cleanse the kidneys. However, Howard (1987) warns that fumitory is poisonous and should only be used "under the direction of a medical herbalist."[1]