Black root (Leptandra virginica) medicinal herb is a perennial plant that is native to eastern United States and has been traditionally used as herbal medicine. It is also grown in Canada and the primary parts used as herbal medicine are the root and rhizome. It is from the family, Scrophulariaceae.
The common names are Tall Beaumont root, Blackroot, Culveris root, Culvers, Culver's root, Speedwell, Leptandra, Oxadoddy, Racine noire, Hini, Physic root, Whorlywort, Bowman's root, Tall veronica, Leptandra purpurea as well as Culver's physic. The medicinal properties are tonic, emetic, hepatic, cathartic and also cholagogue.
It is advised by professionals that the fresh root should be avoided because it is too toxic to use. Therefore it is best to use the dried root, although the dried root should also be used with great care due to the substance leptandrin which is contained in it.
Leptandrin is a very potent emetic as well as purgative. This means that it can be very strong and may cause excessive vomiting and diarrhea, so due care should be exercised even with the dried root or rhizome. It is the belief of many that this herb should be used with the aid of a professional.
Its constituents are gum, resin, tannic acid, volatile oil, glucoside, a saccharine principle as well as a crystalline principle.
It is an excellent herbal remedy to treat constipation. It is also tonic for the stomach and it can aid an under-active liver to normalize the regular flow of bile. It may also be used to treat leprosy, diarrhea, hepatitis, dysentery, fever, gallbladder as well as cholera infantum. It was traditionally used by American doctors to treat liver congestion as well as constipation.
It is also used to treat headache, back pain, anorexia, depression, chills and flatulence.
In regards to the dosage, it is best to steep one teaspoonful of small pieces of the dried root or rhizome in a cup of boiling water for about half an hour. Before each meal consume one mouthful of the cold tea. Take black root tea only once per day.