The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!


Scientific Names


  • Heuchera americana L.
  • Saxifragaceae
  • Saxifrage family

Common Names

  • Alum

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Parts Usually Used

Root, leaves
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture


Alumroot is a perennial that grows to 1-3 feet; the leaves are toothed, roundish to somewhat maple-shaped, base heart-shaped. The flowers are small, greenish white, on short stalks; April to June.
Another variety: Another plant called alum root (Geranium maculatum) is also called storksbill, but in fact has no relation to Heuchera americana.
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Where Found

Woods, shaded rocks. Southern Ontario, Connecticut to Georgia; Oklahoma to Michigan.
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Medicinal Properties

Styptic, astringent
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Biochemical Information

9 to 20% tannins and various unidentified substances
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Legends, Myths and Stories

Not to be confused with cranesbill (Geranium maculatum) often called alumroot.

Native American uses: Alum root (Heuchera glabella) the Blackfeet called “Apos I poco,” the root was steeped for eye-wash. Another plant, (Huechera parvifolia), also called alum root, the root was pounded up and used wet to apply to sores and swellings.
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Leaf tea used for diarrhea, dysentery, piles; gargled for sore throat. Root poulticed on wounds, sores, abrasions. Good for gastroenteritis, stomach flu, and dry bilious vomiting, douche for leukorrhea, vaginitis.
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Formulas or Dosages

For dysentery, a cup of infusion may be taken every 2 hours until the symptoms have stopped.
No more than 15-20 gms. of the powdered root should be taken at a time.
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Excessive use can cause gastric irritation and kidney and liver failure.
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Buy It! Back to Eden, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994

Buy It! Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

Buy It! Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

Buy It! American Folk Medicine, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

Buy It! Indian Uses of Native Plants, by Edith Van Allen Murphey, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, copyright 1958, print 1990

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

Buy It! How Indians Use Wild Plants for Food, Medicine & Crafts, by Frances Densmore, Dover Publications, Inc., 180 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014, first printed by the United States Government Printing Office, Washington, in 1928, this Dover edition 1974

Buy It! The Rodale Herb Book: How to Use, Grow, and Buy Nature’s Miracle Plants (An Organic gardening and farming book), edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

Buy It! The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

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