Herb: Red Baneberry


Latin name: Actaea rubra


Synonyms: Actaea arguta


Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)



Medicinal use of Red Baneberry:

The whole plant, but especially the root, is analgesic, antirheumatic, galactogogue and rubefacient. The plant was often used medicinally by North American Indian tribes, though modern users should be aware of the plants potential toxicity. A tea made from the root is used as an appetizer, in the treatment of stomach pains, coughs, colds, menstrual irregularities, post partum pains, to increase milk flow and as a purgative after childbirth. Great caution should be employed if using this plant internally, the rootstock is a violent purgative, irritant and emetic.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
50 cm
(1 foot)

Flovering:
June
to July

Habitat of the herb:

Moist shady areas, mostly in deciduous forests but also in mixed coniferous forests, open pine or spruce woodlands, swales, stream banks and swamps from sea level to 3500 metres.

Propagation of Red Baneberry:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame or outdoors in a moist shaded seedbed. The seed has a limited viability, it can also be sown in spring in a cold frame but germination rates may be poor. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer of the following year. Division in March or October.

Cultivation of the herb:

Moist shady areas, mostly in deciduous forests but also in mixed coniferous forests, open pine or spruce woodlands, swales, stream banks and swamps from sea level to 3500 metres.

Known hazards of Actaea rubra:

All parts of the plant are toxic, apparently acting upon the heart.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.