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!

Rattlesnake Plantain


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

Scientific Names

Rattlesnake Plantain

  • Goodyera pubescens L.
  • Orchid family

Common Names

  • Adder’s violet
  • Downy rattlesnake plantain
  • Net-leaf plantain
  • Networt
  • Rattlesnake weed
  • Scrofula weed
  • Spotted plantain
  • Water plantain

Back to Top

Parts Usually Used

Leaves, rootstock
Back to Top

Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Rattlesnake plantain is a perennial plant to 16 inches in flower; the fleshy, creeping rootstock produces dark green, basal, ovate leaves with networks of white veins. A glandular-hairy flower stalk with leaf-like, lanceolate scales bears a spike-like raceme of white or greenish-white flowers from July to September.
Back to Top

Where Found

Native to evergreen woods and rich soils of the eastern United States. Maine to Florida, Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, to western Quebec.
Back to Top

Medicinal Properties

Back to Top

Legends, Myths and Stories

This information is of historical interest only. The plant is too scarce to harvest.
Back to Top


The fresh leaves and root make an external application for scrofulous sores, skin rashes, bruises, and insect bites. Native Americans used root tea for pleurisy, snakebites; leaf tea was taken (with whiskey) to improve appetite, treat colds, kidney ailments, blood tonic, toothaches. Externally, leaf poultice used to cool burns, treat skin ulcers. Physicians once used fresh leaves steeped in milk as a poultice for tuberculous swelling of lymph nodes, scrofula. Fresh leaves were applied every 3 hours, while the patient drank a tea of the leaves at the same time.
Back to Top

Formulas or Dosages

If desired, the leaves and/or roots can be soaked in milk and then made into a poultice.
Back to Top


This plant is rare; do not harvest.
Back to Top


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

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! 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

Back to Top