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!

Colic Root


Common Names | Parts Usually Used | Plant(s) & Culture | Where Found | Medicinal Properties | Biochemical Information
Legends, Myths and Stories | Uses | Formulas or Dosages | Nutrient Content | Warning | Bibliography

Scientific Names

Colic Root

  • Aletris farinosa L.
  • Lily family

Common Names

  • Ague grass
  • Bitter grass
  • Blazing star
  • Crow corn
  • Mealy starwort
  • Star root
  • Star grass
  • True unicorn root

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Parts Usually Used

Rootstock (rhizome)
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Description of Plant(s) and

Colic root is a native North American perennial plant; its thick, fibrous rootstock produces a rosette of yellow-green, long, pointed, lanceolate, spreading basal leaves. The numerous white tubular-oblong, somewhat bell-shaped flowers grow in a terminal spike-like raceme on an erect, flower-stalk that reaches 1 1/2 to 3 feet in height. Flowering time is from May to August. The fruit is an ovoid capsule containing many oblong, ribbed seeds.
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Where Found

Grows in grassy or sandy woodlands, barren places, in acid or peaty soils in the eastern half of North America, from southern Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
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Medicinal Properties

Bitter tonic, narcotic, diuretic, anti-inflammatory
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Biochemical Information

Contains diosgenin, which has both anti-inflammatory and estrogenic properties, vitamin E.
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Legends, Myths and Stories

Containing vitamin E as a preventative to miscarriage, it is dependable and free from affects during the entire period of gestation (pregnancy). Be sure to use only dried rootstock.
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A decoction or tincture has been used for flatulent colic and for other digestive problems. Recommended for menstrual problems such as dysmenorrhea and menorrhagia. Stimulates appetite, jaundice, rheumatism, and a general tonic. Contains diosgenin, which has both anti-inflammatory and estrogenic properties.
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Formulas or Dosages

The dried rootstock is used.

Decoction: boil 1 tsp. dried rootstock in 1 cup water. Take 1 cup a day, a mouthful at a time.

Tincture: a dose is from 15-40 drops. For menstrual problems, take in hot water.
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Nutrient Content

Vitamin E
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Use dried rootstock only. The fresh root, which is toxic, causes unpleasant internal effects, including dizziness, intestinal pains, vomiting and purging. The toxic effect is lost in drying.
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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! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

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! The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

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! 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! An Instant Guide to Medicinal Plants, by Pamela Forey and Ruth Lindsay, Crescent Books (January 27, 1992).

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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