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Snakeroot



    Scientific Names

    White Snakeroot
    • Eupatorium rugosum L.
    • Composite family

    Common Names

    ivyWhite snakeroot
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    Parts Usually Used

    Root, leaves
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    Description of Plant(s) and Culture

    A variable perennial; 2-5 feet tall. Leaves opposite, on slender stalks; somewhat heart-shaped, toothed. Flowers are white, in branched clusters; blossoms in July to October.

    Do not mistake white snakeroot for black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) sometimes called black snakeroot. Senega snakeroot (Polygala senega L.) is of the milkwort family; black sanicle (Sanicula marilandica L.) is called snakeroot and is of the parsley family; Virginia snakeroot (Aristolochia serpentaria L.) is of the birthwort family. Each of these have the name snakeroot attached to them but they are not the white snakeroot reported on here (Eupatorium rugosum) of the composite family. Seneca and Virginia snakeroot are poisonous.
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    Where Found

    Thickets. Quebec to Georgia; Texas to North Dakota.
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    Uses

    Native Americans used root tea for ague, diarrhea, painful urination, fevers, "gravel" (kidney stones); poultice for snakebites. Smoke of the burning herb used to revive unconscious patients.
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    Warning

    "Milk sickness", with weakness and nausea, may result from consuming the milk of cows that have grazed on this plant. It is considered toxic. Do not use without medical supervision.
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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! American Folk Medicine/i>, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

    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! 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! 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! 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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