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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 American Ipecac, Gillenia, Indian Hippo, Indian Physic
(Gillenia trfoliata syn Porteranthus trifoliatus syn Spiraea trifoliata)

CONTAINS: The root contains starch, gum, gallotannic acid, wax, resin, lignin, albumen, salts, glucosides.

PROPAGATION: By seed in fall; by division in spring or fall.
NEEDS: Grown as an ornamental in light, rich, moisture retentive soil in part shade.
HARVEST: Roots are taken up in early fall then stripped of bark which is dried.
PART USED: Root bark
American Ipecac (Gillenia stipulata): Similar uses as G. trifoliata. Grows to 4 feet with leanceolate, deeply incised leaflets.

An erect, branching perennial native to eastern North America. Leaves are nearly stalkless, with 3 leaflets which are oblong-ovate, cut-serrate, entire or slightly incised; 5-petalled flowers are white to pinkish, long-stalked, appearing in terminal panicles, each flower having 10 to 20 stamens and a 5 toothed calyx; root is fibrous, irregular, brownish and imparts a reddish color to liquid when extracted. Listed in the USP 1820 to 1882.

Emetic similar to Ipecac (Cephaelis ipecacuanha), purgative, expectorant; small doses are stimulant.
Small doses have been used for fevers, chronic diarrhea, dyspepsia, dropsy, rheumatism, constipation, bronchitis and asthma.
Was once used as a sudorific by placing 6 grains in cold water and administering at 2 to 3 hour intervals; was also combined with opium.
Once used by the Native Americans of Illinois, Kansas, and Arkansas for fevers and bowel complaints.

!All others buy commercial preparations and follow directions carefully!
EMETIC = 20 to 30 grains of powdered root
DYSPEPSIA = 2 to 4 grains
INFUSION = large amounts cause vomiting and purging.

©2004 by Ernestina Parziale, CH