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Herb Information
Name: Black Root
Biological Name: Leptandra virginica

Scrophulariaceae

Other Names: Culvers Root, Culvers Physic, Physic Root, Veronicastrum virginica, black root, tall speedwell, tall veronica, beaumont root, leptandra, hini, oxadoddy, whorlywort
Parts Used: Rhizome and root.
Active Compounds:  

Active constituents are largely unknown. However it is known to contain: 

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Volatile oil with esters of cinnamic acid, methoxycinnamic acid and dimethoxycinnamic acid 

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Saponins 

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Mannitol, dextrose, tannin etc.

Remedies For

Cholagogue, cathartic, hepatic, emetic, laxative, diaphoretic, anti-spasmodic.

Black Root is used as a reliever of liver congestion and for an inflamed gall-bladder (cholecystitis). When jaundice is due to liver congestion, Black Root is used for its treatment. Chronic constipation can often be due to a liver dysfunction, in which case this herb is also ideal.

Kings Dispensatory describes its specific indications and uses as Drowsiness, dizziness, and mental depression, with tenderness and heavy pain in the hepatic region, the tongue is coated markedly white, the skin is yellow, there is a bitter taste, cold extremities, nausea and dull frontal headache; thirst, with inability to drink; restlessness, with insomnia; diarrhea, with half-digested passages, or clay-colored evacuations; enfeebled portal circulation, with lassitude and gloomy and depressed mental state.

Description:

This herb is a native of North America. It was introduced to European herbalism via the Seneca Indians. The slender, simple stem grows to a height of 2 to 5 feet from a horizontal, woody rootstock. The lanceolate, finely serrate leaves grow in whorls of four to seven; and the numerous white flowers grow in panicled spikes. The fruit is an oblong-ovate, flattened, many-seeded capsule. The root should be dug up in the autumn and stored for a year before use.

Dosage: 

Decoction: Put 1-2 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb in a cup of cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Take one cup three times a day.

Tincture: take 1-2 ml of the tincture three times a day.

Combinations : Black Root will combine well with Barberry and Dandelion. For hemorrhoids combine with Stone Root

Safety:

Do not use the fresh root. It is toxic. Use only dried root.

Caution should be exercise when using this herb. It contains eptandrin, a very strong purgative and emetic. Use only with medical supervision. Do not drink more than a cup of the tea per day.

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