Improve digestion with yellowroot, a natural antibiotic. The Cherokee Indians used yellowroot to cure indigestion and to improve appetite. They used the herb to treat cancer, whooping cough, liver disorders, fevers, and heart problems. Yellowroot was also used as a dye and added to war paint.
© Janice Boling
Yellowroot – (Xanthorhiza simplicissima) Yellowroot is anti-inflammatory and a natural antibiotic. The plant can help in the treatment of sinus infections, bladder problems, colds, flu, sore throat, laryngitis, mouth sores, colitis, gastritis, chest congestion, and earache. Yellowroot is a uterine tonic and a digestive aid. It is an excellent liver stimulant and is useful in soothing mucus membranes.
Yellowroot is used in teas, tinctures, tonics, capsules, powders, eyewashes, gargles, ear drops, douches, and salves. It is known as a powerful cooling astringent that reduces phlegm. When combined with ginseng, yellowroot helps improve the entire immune system.
When used as an external wash, yellowroot can soothe irritated skin, eczema, and measles. As a mouthwash, yellowroot helps heal mouth ulcers, gum disease, and sore throats. Powdered yellowroot can be sprinkled on infected cuts and abrasions to help heal and protect. Yellowroot salve makes an excellent remedy for chapped lips and dry skin. A small piece of yellowroot can also be chewed like a toothpick.
Yellowroot is used to treat some female conditions including PMS and yeast infection. It can be useful in preventing night sweats and hot flashes during menopause especially when combined with chasteberry.
Yellowroot is one of the most popular of all herbs. It is estimated that 250,000 pounds of yellowroot is now sold each year. Demand for yellowroot has increased dramatically since 1990 due to the belief that the tea can mask the presence of illegal drugs in a urine test. This assumption is false. Demand for yellowroot is also on the rise due to it being used in place of goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis). Wild harvested yellowroot can be purchased at Payne Mountain Farms.
Yellowroot can be used in place of goldenseal. Both plants have similar properties and can be used for the same purposes. Read more about the similarities between yellowroot and goldenseal.
Yellowroot plants grow from 12 to 36 inches tall. After emerging in early spring, flower buds quickly develop into small white/purple flowers. Each plant produces a single, green raspberry-like fruit which turns red in July. Yellowroot flourishes in forests and near shady creek banks.
Yellowroot will not grow in poor, dry soil. The plant likes rich soil and is usually found growing in patches on shady creek banks along with May apple, trillium, bloodroot, and black cohosh.
Yellowroot rhizomes (roots and stems) should be dried for future use. As the name implies, the rhizomes and stems are bright yellow when bark is scraped with a fingernail or digging tool. The stem and rhizomes of the plant are used in herbal medicine as both contain active medicines. Leaves are usually discarded.
* Avoid yellowroot in pregnancy. Do not use if you have high blood pressure. Do not use internally for more than three weeks. (The plant should not be eaten or chewed while fresh - dry for 2 weeks before use.) The safety of yellowroot in nursing women, children, and people with kidney and liver disease is unknown. Side effects are rare but yellowroot can cause mouth irritation and nervousness. Yellowroot may also cause motion sickness or vertigo in some individuals. Discontinue use if dizziness occurs. Always consult with a physician or health care professional before using any herbal remedy. Yellowroot is a strong medicinal herb!
"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... Janice Boling herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer
* Note - the information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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