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

Red Baneberry

  • Baneberry, red
    • Actaea rubra L.
  • Baneberry, white
    • Actaea pachypoda L.
    • Buttercup family

Common Names

  • Red Baneberry
  • White Baneberry
  • White baneberry is known as Doll’s eyes

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Parts Usually Used

Root, in both red and white baneberry.
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

White Baneberry

Red baneberry is a perennial; 2-3 ft. tall. Similar to white baneberry, though the flowerhead is rounder, and the berries are red and on less stout stalks. It fruits July to October.

White baneberry is a perennial, 1-2 ft. tall. Leaves twice-divided, leaflets oblong, sharp-toothed. Flowers in oblong clusters on thick red stalks. Fleshy white berries with a dark dot at the tip; fruits July to October. Flowers April to June

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Where Found

Found in rich woods. Southern Canada to northern New Jersey, West Virginia, west through Ohio and Iowa to South Dakota, Colorado, Utah, and Oregon.
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American Indians used red baneberry root tea for menstrual irregularity, postpartum pains, and as a purgative after childbirth; also used to treat coughs and colds.

Menominees used small amount of white baneberry root tea to relieve pain of childbirth, headaches due to eye strain. Once used for coughs, menstrual irregularities, colds, and chronic constipation; thought to be beneficial to circulation

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All parts of white baneberry may cause severe gastrointestinal inflammation and skin blisters. Its use is not recommended.

Red baneberry is poisonous. May cause vomiting, gastroenteritis, irregular breathing, and delirium. Its use is not recommended. These herbs are poisonous.
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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! 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

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