Herb: White Snakeroot

Latin name: Ageratina altissima

Synonyms: Eupatorium ageratoides, Eupatorium rugosum, Eupatorium urticifolium

Family: Compositae

Medicinal use of White Snakeroot:

The root is diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, stimulant and tonic. It has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea, gravel and urinary diseases. It has also been used in herbal sweat baths to encourage sweating. A decoction or infusion of the root has been taken to treat a fallen or inflamed womb. The root has been chewed and held in the mouth as a treatment for toothache.

Description of the plant:


2 m
(6 1/2 foot)

August to

Habitat of the herb:

Low woods in river valleys in Texas.

Propagation of White Snakeroot:

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame, only just covering the seed. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring.

Cultivation of the herb:

Low woods in river valleys in Texas.

Known hazards of Ageratina altissima:

The plant contains tremetol, a complex alcohol, and glycosides. These toxins cause a fatal disease known as 'staggers' in cattle. The toxin can be passed through the milk and has caused fatalities in humans who have drunk affected cow's milk.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.