The fireweed plant is prolific in Colorado, USA, and throughout the world. The Native American tribes used the stems (peeled and eaten raw) as a good source of vitamin C. The Dena’ina used it for medicinal purposes to treat boils or deep cuts by placing a raw stem over the afflicted area. This supposedly drew out the pus, and stopped the wound from healing over too quickly.
The people of Russia use the plant to make tea. The Austrians have used it for disorders of the prostrate, kidneys and urinary tract infections. In England, the plant was nicknamed “Bomb Weed” because it grew so readily in the bomb craters after WWII.