Columbine, having the intricate design of tripartite leaves has caused various cultures across the world to associate this flower with religious weight. In ancient Greek culture Aquilegia was associated with the goddess Aphrodite, the goddess of love. In Austria the flower was named " Five Birds Together" because of the spurs on the top of the flower. The doves relate to the holy spirit. This matches well with the English nickname for Aquilegia Vulgaris, Columbine, which means dove like.
The tripartite leaves of Columbine were used as symbolism for the holy trinity in Christianity. This can be seen in various paintings and depictions in medieval art. Seven Columbine plants together symbolized the seven gifts of the ©Harald Supfle, Wikicommons
 holy spirit and three flowers represented the three Christian virtues: hope, love, and faith. Aquilegia is found in many paintings of Christ and holds a symbolic meaning of bittersweet but it was not only depicted in picture of Christ. The flower also appeared in artwork of saints and prophets.

Medicinal uses
Aquilegia Vulgaris has been used for many remedies in the past. Native Americans used small amounts of the concentrated toxins in the roots and seeds to treat ulcers. Since the seeds had a high concentration of toxins seeds would be rubbed into the heads of Native Americans to control lice. The root has been used to inhibit diarrhea and it has been used in lotions to soothe the throat and aches of the body. There have been some instances where the seeds when taken with wine help with dilation in childbirth. Today however Aquilegia Vulgaris is not used in products because there are more effective treatments.
There have been recent studies on the chemical isocytisoside (an extract from the leaves and stem) that is finding the extract to be a very powerful anti-oxidant. In a study the ©Frank Vincentz, Wikicommons          extract was given to male rats that had oxidation damage of the liver and with treatment of the extract there was some recorded recovery. The study is still fairly new so it has not progressed to commercial use for anti oxidation yet. In other studies the  antimicrobial properties of the extract have been used to inhibit the growth of bacteria and other organisms. This could potentially lead to a range of products that stop bacteria from growing in places that they are not needed.

Fun facts
There are approximately 65 different species of Aquilegia, each one having a different color arrangement and flower pattern.

Some common nicknames for Aquilegia Vulgaris have been Granny's nightcap, European Columbine, Granny's Bonnet, and Common Columbine.

In the 19th century Aquilegia Vulgaris were used as ornamentals for monastery gardens and manor houses. Later at about the 19th century they began to be used in the common home.

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