White Lettuce (white rattlesnake-root)

Botanical Name : Nabalus albus
Family : Asteraceae – Aster family
Genus: Prenanthes L. – rattlesnakeroot
Species : Prenanthes alba L. – white rattlesnakeroot
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order : Asterales

Common Name : White Lettuce,white rattlesnake-root

Habitat :Grows in North-eastern N. America – Maine to Georgia, west to N. Dakota. Found  mostly in rich woods and thickets.

Description:
Nabalus albus is a perennia plant 0.6-1.5 meter (2-5ft) l with smooth purple stem. Leaves are triangular, toothed, and lobed. Flowers are white in drooping clusters and found July through September. Seed fuzz is reddish in color.

Leaf arrangement:  alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem  the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant (basal)

Leaf blade edges:  the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes  the edge of the leaf blade has teeth

Flower type in flower heads: the flower head has ray flowers only, meaning all of the individual flowers of the flower head have a strap-shaped ray, which may or may not have teeth at the very tip of the ray

Flower colors:    blue to purple,pink to red & white.  Flower head width :3–5 mm

Tuft or plume on fruit  :at least a part of the plume is made up of fine bristles

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Leaf blade length: 40–300 mm
It is hardy to zone 5. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
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The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid and neutral soils..It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland).It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in shade or semi-shade in a moist but well-drained humus-rich neutral to acid soil.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow in a greenhouse in spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

Medicinal Uses:
Antidote;  Diuretic;  Galactogogue.

The powdered root is sprinkled on food to stimulate milk flow after childbirth. A tea made from the roots is used as a wash for weakness. A latex in the stems is diuretic, it is used in female diseases. It is also taken internally in the treatment of snakebite. A poultice of the leaves or roots is applied to snakebites, dog bites etc.

The Chippewa doctor considered this a “milk root” and used the root as a remedy for female complaints, possibly as a douche in leucorrhea, to help arrest the discomforting white discharge of the vagina.  At the same time a tea of the leaves was taken as a diuretic to flush the poisons from the urinary organs.  To the Indians, the oozing bitter juice also corresponded to the pus of a sore, for which purpose he applied a poultice of the leaves to the bites of snakes and insects.  In time, the herb became better known for its content of the astringent tannic acid and was used not only in dysentery but as an everyday vulnerary, to heal cancerous and canker sores.  The powdered root is sprinkled on food to stimulate milk flow after childbirth. A tea made from the roots is used as a wash for weakness. A latex in the stems is diuretic it is used in female diseases. It is also taken internally in the treatment of snakebite. . Used in diarrhea and relaxed and debilitated conditions of the bowels.

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Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=PRAL2&photoID=naal2_001_avd.tif
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Nabalus+albus
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

https://gobotany.newenglandwild.org/species/nabalus/albus/

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