Skunk Cabbage Herb - Uses And Side Effects
Other Names : Dracontium foetidum, meadow cabbage, pole-cat cabbage, and skunkweed.
The Micmac Indians crushed the leaves of skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) and inhaled the pungent oils to treat headache. Skunk cabbage was named both for the unpleasant smell of its bruised leaves and for the leaves' appearance.
Today, herbalists obtain active ingredients from the plant's rhizome (underground stem) and roots. The root Is bitter and acrid and, like the bruised leaves, has a disagreeable odor.
Description of the herb Skunk Cabbage
The plant grows in abundance in moist places of the northern and middle United States. All parts of it have a strong, foetid odour, dependent upon a volatile principle, which is quickly dissipated by heat. The rhizome should be collected in the autumn or early spring, and should not be kept more than one season, as it deteriorates with age and drying. In commerce it is found in cylindrical pieces, 2 inches or more in length and about 1 in. in diameter, or, more commonly, in transverse slices, much compressed and corrugated. It is dark brown outside, white or yellowish within. The seeds are regarded as more energetic than the root, and preserve their virtues longer. They have an acrid taste, and emit the foetid odour only when bruised. The acridity of the root is absent in the decoction.
Common doses of Skunk Cabbage
Skunk cabbage comes as powdered root, liquid extract, and tincture. Some experts recommend the following doses for treating coughs:
Uses of Skunk Cabbage herb
Skunk Cabbage exhibits anti-spasmodic, diaphoretic, and expectorant properties. Skunk Cabbage may be used whenever there is a tense or spasmodic condition in the lungs. Specifically, skunk cabbage may help to :-
Side effects of Skunk Cabbage
Call your health care practitioner if you experience any of these possible side effects of skunk cabbage:
Are there any interactions?
Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Tell your health care practitioner about any prescription or nonprescription drugs you're taking.
Important points to remember
What the research shows
Researchers know nothing about the chemicals in skunk cabbage or the chemicals' medicinal effects. Nor do they know whether the herb is a safe or effective treatment for any health problem. Medical experts warn against using skunk cabbage until they have such information.
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