Latin Name: Veronicastrum virginicum
Alternate Names: Black Root, Physic Root, Bowman's Root, Leptandra,
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.