This plant is a member of the carrot family. It is a fragrant, non-woody biennial or short-lived perennial that can reach 9 feet tall. The plant is said to be like a blend of juniper, celery, and asparagus. The young shoots can be added raw to salads. The stem, roots and leaves can be cooked and eaten as a vegetable. The Shakers and Amish would candy the stem. The leaves can be dried and used as a seasoning. The green seeds, which taste of juniper, are used commercially to flavor gin, vermouth, soft drinks, and confections. The name of the European version of this plant dates to the Middle Ages. According to legend, a monk was instructed in a dream to have people chew the root of this plant to protect against the plague. Although the root, stem, and seeds are used medicinally, the fresh root should NOT be eaten, as it may be poisonous. The root yields a latex used as a fixative, and root oil inhibits fungus and bacteria. The root has been approved in Germany as a treatment for anorexia, gas, indigestion, and bloating. It stimulates the secretion of gastric juices and alleviates smooth-muscle spasms. A decoction of the roots or leaves, or tincture of the root, is also used to treat colds, flu, fevers, bronchitis, pleurisy, colic, rheumatism, liver and urinary problems, anemia, and gout. It is reported to create an aversion to alcohol. It is good for hypoglycemia, and should be avoided by diabetics. The crushed leaves are used to reduce motion sickness caused by travel. Fresh or preserved roots have been added to snuff and used by both Native Americans and Laplanders as tobacco.