A native of Peru, it is a culinary as well as a medicinal herb used in Andean Indian herbal medicine.
All parts of the plant possess an antibiotic and Vitamin C in high concentrations. Taken internally, it stimulates coughing and reduces phlegm production, and for these effects, it is used in the treatment of lung diseases. Applied externally, it is antiseptic. Blossoms and leaves can be used in green salads for their high Vitamin C content.