In fall we find ourselves surranded by beautiful blooms of Wild Asters. In NYC Parks I found especially plentiful New York Asters, which you can tell by clusters of light-purple flowers. The flowers are not only make a wonderful decoration, but also contain very effective and much-needed health benefits.
New England Aster ( Aster novae-angliae) is deployed in decoction internally, with a strong decoction externally, in many eruptive diseases of the skin; it removes also the poisonous state of the skin caused by Rhus or Shumach.
New York Aster and A. Cordifolius are excellent aromatic nervine in many cases preferable to Valerian. Many other species must be equally good, such as A. Puniceus and those with a strong scent; they ought to be tried as equivalents to Valerian in epilepsy, spasms, hysterics…
Aster puniceus… Stimulant and diaphoretic. The warm infusion may be used freely in colds, rheumatism, nervous debility, headache, pains in the stomach, dizziness, and menstrual irregularities. This, together with A. cordifolius, has been compared in value with valerian.
Aster aestivus…is recommended as an antispasmodic and alterative. Principally used in the cure of rheumatism in the form of infusion or tincture; recommended, however, in hysteria, chorea, epilepsy, spasms, irregular menstruation, etc., internally; and used both externally and internally in many cutaneous diseases, the eruption occasioned by the poison rhus, and in the bites of venomous snakes. Dose of the infusion, 1 to 4 fluid ounces; of a saturated tincture, 1/2 drachm to 2 drachms. This plant deserves further investigation.
Traditional herbcraft also links blue/purple hued flowers with a sedative effect, suggested in the old texts.