Herb of the Day: Pohophyllum

(Podophyllum peltatum )

Called American mandrake or May apple, it grows in wet meadows ans woods in North America. A malodorous white flower blooms in May and is followed by the fruit, which resembles the rose hips. The shape of the leaves gives the plant another of its common names; duck’s foot. The resin from Podophyllum, is used medicinally as a caustic. Resins from this plant have also been said to contain substances that have antitumor activity, a property that may have been recognized by the Chinese 2,000 years ago. North Americans Indians used the herb to kill parasites, and as an emetic and purgative. Early Americans also used it in cathartic preparations to clean out the intestines. Although large doses of the herb are poisonous, smaller doses have been employed as a liver and bowel stimulant. Homeopathic practitioners use it today to treat diarrhea and flatulence.
Aids with frequent profuse and offensive liquid stools the color of pea soup, gurgling and rumbling in the abdomen, alternating with constipation and headache, faintness after passing stool, worsening after drinking water and eating, driving a patient out of bed at 4 or 5 a.m., flatulence with gurgling before a stool, loud wind during stool.


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