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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 Eye Balm
(Hydrastis canadensis)

HARVEST: Rootstock and leaves (action of leaves is milder).

CAUTION! Adverse reactions are known in hypoglycemics and should not be used. Should NOT be used if pregnant (stimulates the uterus). AVOID with weak digestion. Should not be used for more than 10 to 14 days. Overuse can cause imbalances of intestinal flora and can contribute to yeast and mold infections and immune system imblances if taken for long periods. Not advised when pain present in the digestive tract or if there is a cold constitution (cold hands or feet, feeling chilly, slow pulse, preferring hot drinks to cold, wanting extra clothes or bed covers). Contains the alkaloid hydrastine and should not be taken in excess.

Blood purifier; digestive tonic for those with normal digestion; central nervous system stimulent; antiseptic (wounds); antibiotic and immune system stimulant; used as a spring tonic.
Has beeb used for liver disorders.
Has been used for ulcerations of mucosal surfaces (as external wash): gums, gum diseases; as eyewash for conjunctivitis, wounds, eczema, ringworm
Has been used for colds (reduces mucous discharge); sinus infection; hay fever; cystitis.
For colds the following has been used: Combine equal parts peppermint, yarrow flowers and elder flowers; 1 tsp per cup of water just off the boil and steeped 20 minutes.

Historically, the yellow stain from the root was used by Native Americans as a face paint.

©2001 by Ernestina Parziale, CH