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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Virginia Creeper

Scientific Names

Virginia Creeper

  • Parthenocissus quinquefolia L.
  • Vitis quinquefolia. L.
  • Grape family

Common Names

  • American ivy
  • False grape
  • Five leaves
  • Wild woodbine
  • Woodbine

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Parts Usually Used

Root, leaves, bark and twigs
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Climbing or creeping vine with adhesive disks on much-branched tendrils. Ascending to 50 to 100 ft. mostly by means of its radiating tendrils supporting itself firmly on trees, stone walls, churches, etc. This is a woody vine of the grape family, with smooth leaves and many leaflets. Leaves divided into 5 leaflets; elliptical to oval, sharply toothed. Small greenish or white flowers in terminal groups; June. Bark and twigs are collected after the small dark berries have ripened. Has a persistent acrid taste; not unpleasant.
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Where Found

Thickets, weedy. Maine to Florida; Texas to Kansas, Minnesota.
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Medicinal Properties

Astringent, diuretic, tonic
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Uses

Native Americans used plant tea for jaundice; root tea for gonorrhea, scrofula, dropsy, bronchitis, pneumonia, cholera, diarrhea. Leaf tea used to wash swellings and poison-sumac rash; mixed with vinegar for wounds and lockjaw; astringent and diuretic.
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Formulas or Dosages

The decoction is mucilaginous.
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Warning

Berries reportedly toxic. Leaves toxic; touching autumn foliage may cause dermatitis. Use this herb under medical supervision only.
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Bibliography

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! Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

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

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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