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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”



Latin Name: Veronicastrum virginicum

Alternate Names: Black Root, Physic Root, Bowman's Root, Leptandra, Brinton Root


Parts Used: Rhizome, root (aged for a year before using).

Properties: Antispasmodic, Bitter Tonic, Cathartic, Cholagogue, Diaphoretic, Emetic, Febrifuge, Hepatic, Laxative, Purgative, Tonic.

Internal Uses: Bloating, Dyspepsia, Enteritis, Flatulence, Hepatitis, Jaundice, Rectal Prolapse

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.

It is a mild cathartic and laxative. It breaks obstructions, moves stagnation, and helps bile flow. It improves skin by cleansing the kidneys. It has a sinking nature.

Energetics: Bitter, Pungent, Warm, Dry, Cool.

Chemical Constituents: Leptandrin, glycoside, saponin, tannin, phytosterols, essential oil (cinnamic acid, dimethoxycinnamic acid, methoxycinnamic acid), mannitol, resin, gum.



Contraindications: Avoid using when gallstones are present to avoid further obstruction of the gall bladder. Use dried, not fresh plant. Use only in small doses. Avoid during pregnancy. Large doses can cause vertigo and blood in the stools.

Comments: In Ayurvedic medicine the energetic is cool. Growing wild in the North American woodlands, Culver's root was widely used as a remedy by Native Americans to induce vomiting, hence the name Bowman's Root. The genus name Veronicastrum refers to St. Veronica, while astrum, meaning 'star', refers to the shape of the leaves. 

The species Veronicastrum viginicum was formerly known as Leptandra virginica and Veronica virginica.