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!

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Pinkroot

Scientific Names

Pinkroot

  • Spigelia marilandica L.
  • Loganiaceae
  • Logania family

Common Names

  • Carolina pink
  • Indian pink
  • Maryland pink
  • Star bloom
  • Worm grass

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Parts Usually Used

Rootstock
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

A herbaceous perennial plant, grows 12-24 inches high. The small, fibrous, yellow rootstock produces a smooth, erect, purplish, tufted stem with opposite, sessile, entire, lanceolate leaves about 2-4 inches long. The club-shaped flowers are red on the outside and cream yellow on the inside (throats), growing in a short one-sided spike from May to July.
The blooming flower of pinkroot can be easily identified by its 5-lobed, trumpet-shaped flowers, which are scarlet on the outside and cream-yellow within.

Another herb: The Arapaho Indians used a plant called pink root (Horkelia Gordonii). They made a tea from the root and used it as a tonic. The root was dug just before maturity when the plant has sap.
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Where Found

Native to the rich woodlands and open areas of the southeast United States, from New Jersey to Florida, Texas, eastern Oklahoma to Missouri, Indiana. Indigenous to America.
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Medicinal Properties

Anthelmintic (destroys worms), narcotic.
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Biochemical Information

Spigline, a poisonous alkaloid, tannin, resin, wax, fat, albumen, myricin, mucilage and a bitter principle.
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Legends, Myths and Stories

The Cherokee Indians collected the herb for market in the northern part of Georgia, but since their removal, the supply now comes from the far south-west.

If the worms persist after treatment with this herb, it is suggested that another administration of the decoction be at full moon; the worms are more active at this time and more vulnerable to treatment.
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Uses

The effectiveness of pinkroot against worms, tapeworms and roundworms, was known by the Native Americans, from whom its use was learned by the medical profession. Given in proper dosage and followed by a strong laxative, it was found to be highly effective for both children and adults. A decoction of the fresh rootstock was generally preferred, but the dried powdered rootstock was also commonly used. If the laxative salts (usually epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) is recommended) are not taken immediately after the herb, there can be toxic side-effects, including blurring vision, dizziness, spasms, and palpitations. In large doses there can be depression of both respiration and circulation and possible death from convulsions.
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Warning

Non-poisonous to the body but should be used according to age and with other herbs.

Pinkroot may produce side-effects such as rapid heart-beat, dizziness, and sluggishness. An overdose can be fatal. Not recommended for use without medical supervision.
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Bibliography

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

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! 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

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