Herb: Blazing Star

Latin name: Chamaelirium luteum

Synonyms: Chamaelirion luteum, Chamaelirium carolinianum, Veratrum luteum

Family: Melanthiaceae

Medicinal use of Blazing Star:

Blazing star is a traditional remedy of the North American Indians where it was used mainly as a woman's herb. It is widely used in Western herbal medicine where it is seen as a balancing herb for the female reproductive system and has proved to be a beneficial remedy for menstrual problems and ovarian cysts - it can also be of help in the menopause. The root is adaptogen, diuretic, emetic, uterine tonic and vermifuge. Small doses of the dried and powdered root are used. It is employed in the treatment of amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea and leucorrhoea and also for a variety of ailments associated with the male and female reproductive organs. It should be used with caution since an excess causes vomiting. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.

Description of the plant:


50 cm
(1 foot)

May to

Habitat of the herb:

Low moist ground in meadows, thickets and rich woods.

Propagation of Blazing Star:

Seed - sow as soon as it is ripe just below the surface of a peat/sand mix in pots in a cold frame. Keep cool and moist. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 6 months at 10C. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in pots plunged in a nursery bed for 1 - 2 years, giving protection from severe weather. Plant out in spring when the plants are large enough. Division.

Cultivation of the herb:

Low moist ground in meadows, thickets and rich woods.

Known hazards of Chamaelirium luteum:

This plant is a cardiac toxin in large quantities.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.