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Bitter Root

[Check This Out] Bitter Root (Apocynum androsaemifolium), also known as Milkweed, Dogsbane, or Fly-Trap, is a perennial herb, 5 or 6 feet in height, branching, and, in common with the other three members of the genus, yielding on incision a milky juice resembling India rubber when dry. The leaves are dark green above, paler and downy beneath, ovate, and from 2 to 3 inches long. The flowers are white, tinged with red, having five scales in the throat of the corolla which secrete a sweet liquid, attractive to flies. These scales are very sensitive, and when touched bend inward, imprisoning the insects.

The tough, fibrous bark of all four species is used by the Indians of California as a substitute for hemp, in making twine, bags, fishing-nets and lines, and linen.

The milky root is found in commerce in cylindrical, branched pieces, about a quarter of an inch thick, reddish or grayish brown outside, longitudinally wrinkled, and having a short fracture and small pith. There is scarcely any odor, and the taste is starchy, afterwards bitter and acrid.

The nature of the active principle is uncertain. A glucoside, Apocynamarin, was separated, but the activity is thought to be due not to the glucoside, but to an intensely bitter principle, Cymarin.

One of the digitalis group of cardiac tonics, Apocynum, is the most powerful in slowing the pulse, and its action on the vaso-motor system is also very strong. Being rather irritant to mucous membranes, it may cause nausea and catharsis, so that some cannot tolerate it. It is a powerful hydragogue, helpful in dropsy's due to heart-failure, and in the ascites of hepatic cirrhosis has been called the 'vegetable trocar.'

Bitter Root is also used as an alterative in rheumatism, syphilis and scrofula. The absorption in the gastro-intestinal tract being very irregular, the dosage and patient must be carefully watched and guarded.

Bitter Root is also a common name of Gentiana lutea, or Yellow Gentian, the well known bitter, and of Lewisia rediviva or Spathulum, with a starchy, edible root.

Index of VHS Herbal Descriptions
( including vitamins, minerals, amino acids and nutrients )

Acacia Bark Acidophilus Aconite Agrimony
Alanine Alfalfa Algin Allspice
Almond Aloe Vera Alum Root American Desert Herb
Amino Acids Angelica Anise Antioxidants
Apple Arginine Arnica Artichoke
Ascorbic Acid Asparagus Aspartic Acid Astragalus
Balm Baneberry Barberry Barley Grass
Basil Bayberry B-Complex Bearberry
Bee Pollen Bee Propolis Bee's Wax Beet Root
Beta Carotene Bilberry Bioflavonoids Biotin
Birch Bark Bitter Root Black Birch Black Cohosh
Black Haw Black Thistle Black Walnut Bladderwrack
Blessed Thistle Blood Root Blue Cohosh Blue Flag
Blue Vervain Boneset Borage Boron Protenate
Brazilian Guarana Brigham Tea Broccoli Bromelain
B-Sitosterol Buchu Buckthorn Bugleweed
Burdock Root Butcher's Broom Butternut Cactus Grandiflorus
Calamus Calcium Calcium-Magnesium Complex Calendula
California Poppy Capsicum Caraway Cardamom
Carrots Cascara Sagrada Cat's Claw Catnip
Catuaba Cayenne Celandine Celery Seed
Centella Cetylmyristoleate (CMO) Chamomile Chaparral
Chaste Tree Chickweed Cinchona Chlorine
Choline Chondroitin Sulfates Chromium Chromium Picolinate
Cilantro Cinnamon Cleavers Cloves
Club Moss Cobalamin Cod Liver Oil CoEnzyme Q10
Coffee Collinsonia Colloidal Minerals Coltsfoot
Comfrey Copper Coriander Cornsilk
Cramp Bark Cranberry Cranesbill Root Cucumber
Culver's Root Curcumin Curcurbin Cystine
Damiana Dandelion Desert Tea Devil's Claw
DHEA Dill Seed Dimethyl Suloxide (DMSO) D-L Phenylalinine (DLPA)
Docks Dogsbane Dong Quai Echinacea
Elder Elecampane Emu Oil Enzymes
Ephedra Eucalyptus Euphrasia European Vervain
Evening Primrose Eyebright Fats and Carbohydrates Fennel
Fenugreek Feverfew Flaxseed Folic Acid
Forskolin Fo-Ti Fringetree Bark Garden Thyme
Garlic Garsinia Gentian Ginger Root
Ginkgo Biloba Ginseng (American) Ginseng (Korean) Ginseng (Siberian)
Glucosamine Sulfates Glutamic Acid Glycine Golden Rod
Goldenseal Gotu Kola Grapefruit Seed Grape Seed Extract
Gravel Root Green Tea (Chinese) Grindelia Guarana
Guar Gum Gum Karaya Hawthorne Berries Heartsease
Hemlock Henna Hesperidin Histidine
Hops Horehound Hormones Horseradish
Horse Chestnut Horsetail Huckleberry Leaf Hydrangea
Hydrophilia Hyssop Iceland Moss Inositol
Iodine Irish Moss Iron Jamaican Dogwood
Jewelweed Jujube Berries Juniper Kava Kava
Kelp Knotgrass Knotted Figwort Kola Nut
Lady's Mantle Lavender L-Carnitine Lecithin
Lemon Balm Leucine & Isoleucine Licorice Linden
Liverwort (American) Lobelia Loosestrife Lovage
Lungwort Lysine Ma Huang Magnesium
Magnesium Sulfates Maitake Mushroom Manganese Marshmallow
Meadowsweet Medium Chain Triglycerides Melatonin Methionine
Milk Thistle Minerals Mint Mormon Tea
Mortmorillonite Clay Moss Spores Mother of Thyme Motherwort
Muirapauma Root Mullein Mustard Seed Myrrh Gum
Nettle Niacin Niacinamide Oat
Octacosanol Olive Omega-3 Fatty Acids Onion
Oregon Grape Root Organ Mountain Crape Osha Oswego Tea
Para Amino Benzoic Acid (PABA) Pangamic Acid Pantothenic Acid Papaya Leaf
Parsley Passiflora Passion Flower Pau D'Arco
Pectin Pennyroyal Pennywort Peony
Peppermint Periwinkle Phen-Fen Phenylalinine
Phosphatidyl Choline Phosphorous Plantain Pleurisy Root
Potassium Prickly Ash Bark Proline Protein
Psyllium Pumpkin Seed Pycnogenol Pygeum
Pyridoxine Queen-of-the-Meadow Quercetin Raspberry Leaf
Raw Honey Red Clover Red Raspberry Red Root
Rehmannia Root Reishi Mushroom Rhubarb Root Riboflavin
RNA & DNA Rose Hips Rosemary Royal Jelly
Rue Rutin Safflower Sage
Sarsaparilla Saw Palmetto Schizandra Sea Holly
Selenium Senna Serine Serotonin
Shavegrass Sheep Sorrel Shepherd's Purse Shiitake Mushroom
Sida Cordifolia Skullcap Skunk Cabbage Slippery Elm
Sodium Sorrel Spirulina Squaw Vine
St John's Wort Stevia Stillingia Stillingia Root
Stone Root Sulfur Suma Sunflower
Tamarack Taurine Tea Tea Tree Oil
Thiamin Thistle Threonine Thyme
Tobacco Trace Minerals Tryptophan Turkey Rhubarb
Turmeric Tyrosine Unicorn Root (False) Unicorn Root (True)
Uva Ursi Valerian Root Valine Vitamins
Vitamin A Vitamin B-1 Vitamin B-2 Vitamin B-3
Vitamin B-6 Vitamin B-12 Vitamin B-15 Vitamin C
Vitamin D Vitamin E Vitamin K Vitex
Wheat Grass White Birch Bark White Walnut White Willow Bark
Wild Balsam Wild Cherry Bark Wild Indigo Wild Pansy
Wild Yam Willow Witch Hazel Wood Betony
Woody Nightshade Wormwood Yarrow Yellow Dock
Yellow Gentian Yerba Santa Yohimbe Bark Yucca
Zinc Zinc Chloride    

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