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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

aka Feverbush, Feverwood, Spice Bush
(Lindera benzoin)

NOT to be confused with Styrax benzoin (gum benzoin).

A shrub found growing in rich woods in eastern North America from Maine and as far west as Texas. Grows from 6 to 15 feet high. The leaves are thin, oblong, acute at base and from 3 to 5 inches long. In spring the flowers appear before the leaves.

PROPAGATION: By seed in autumn; by softwood cuttings in summer.
NEEDS: Grown as an ornamental and requires moist, acid soil (pH 4.5 to 6) in partial shade.
HARVEST: Leaves throughout growing season; twigs in spring; bark any time; berries in autumn. Used fresh or dried.
Lindera glauca: Oriental species used in the making of joss sticks and incense.
Lindera strychnifolia: Used in Chinese medicine as a warming herb in the treatment of menstrual pain, stomach chills, and incontinence.


Aromatic, warming, tonic, vermifuge, febrifuge, increases perspiration, improves circulation.
Once used to treat colds, dysentary, intestinal parasites.
Once used by the Rappahannocks of North America as a tea made from split twigs for menstrual pain and to correct delayed menses.

!All others buy commercial preparations and follow directions carefully!
BARK = 30 grains

The powdered fruits were used as a substitute for allspice during the 18th century by American settlers. The leaves were used for tea.

©2003 & 2006 by Ernestina Parziale, CH