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!

American Sanicle

Scientific Names

American Sanicle

  • Sanicula marilandica L.
  • Umbelliferae
  • Umbel family

Common Names

  • Black sanicle
  • Black snakeroot
  • Butterwort
  • Pool root
  • Sanicle
  • Sanicle root
  • Wood sanicle

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Parts Usually Used

Rootstock, leaves
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

American Sanicle

American sanicle is a perennial plant; the root is composed of many blackish strings or fibers. The fibrous rootstock produces a light-green, furrowed, hollow stem bearing a few sessile leaves or none at all. Most of the plant’s bluish-green, palmately lobed leaves are basal, growing on long petioles. Small umbels of white, greenish-white, or yellowish flowers bloom from May to July. Prickled fruits sessile (without stalks); base of bristles bulbous.

Other variety: European sanicle (S. europaea) also called wood sanicle; Canadian sanicle (S. canadensis).
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Where Found

Found in rich woods, thickets, and shores from Newfoundland south to Georgia, and west to Alberta and Colorado. Shade loving plant.
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Medicinal Properties

Astringent, expectorant, nervine, vulnerary, alterative, discutient, depurative
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Used as a gargle for irritations or sores in the mouth and throat, for internal ulcers, kidney ailments, rheumatism, diarrhea, digestion, fevers, colds, inflammations, swellings, wounds, tumors, gonorrhea, syphilis, blood cleanser, quinsy, tuberculosis, scurvy, tetters, rashes, erysipelas, pain, hemorrhage and excessive menstrual flow. The powdered root used for fever and chorea (St. Vitus’s dance). Native Americans used a poultice of the root for snakebite.
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Formulas or Dosages

Infusion: steep 1 tsp. rootstock in water. Take 1 cup a day.

Tincture: a dose is from 15-30 drops.
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Buy It! American Folk Medicine, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

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! Culpeper’s Complete Herbal & English Physician: Updated With 117 Modern Herbs, by Nicholas Culpeper, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1990, (reprint of 1814)

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! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

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!The Magic of Herbs, by David Conway, published by Jonathan Cape, Thirty Bedford Square, London, England. (Out of print)

Buy It! The Nature Doctor: A Manual of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel; Keats Publishing, Inc., 27 Pine Street (Box 876) New Canaan, CT. 06840-0876. Copyright Verlag A. Vogel, Teufen (AR) Switzerland 1952, 1991

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! 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

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