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Common Name : American Ipecacuanna, American ipecac
Habitat : Gillenia stipulata is native to Eastern N. America – New York to Indiana and Kansas, south to Georgia, Louisiana and Oklahoma. It grows in woods, thickets and rocky slopes.
Gillenia stipulata is a herbaceous, perennial plant growing to 1.2 m (4ft). It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from May to June. The stem is erect, glabrous to pubescent, branching, multiple from base, sub-hollow, greenish to red above, from caudex, rhizomatous.. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
Leaves – Alternate, stipulate, short-petiolate, trifoliolate. Stipules large, foliaceous, serrate, ovate, +/-2.5cm long and broad, pubescent below, glabrous ir sparse pubescent above. Leaflets sessile, linear-lanceolate, to 9cm long, 2cm broad, serrate, pubescent below, sparse pubescent above, central leaflet slightly larger than lateral leaflets. Leaflets of lowest leaves pinnatifid.
Inflorescence – Axillary and terminal loose few-flowered panicles. Each divisions of inflorescence subtended by reduced foliaceous bract.
Flowers – Petals 5, white, acute to acuminate, 1.2cm long, 3-4mm broad, glabrous, oblong, clawed. Claw to 3mm long. Stamens 20, borne at edge of hypanthium, in two sets. Filaments white, glabrous, 2mm long. Anthers tan, 1mm in diameter. Pistils 5, distinct. Styles white, 3mm long, glabrous. Ovaries yellow-green, 1.9mm long. Hypanthium tube 5-6mm long, 3-4mm in diameter, greenish-white to reddish, truncate at base, glabrous. Sepals 5, acute, 1.1mm long, with some pubescence internally near apex. Follicles to 8mm long, glabrous, with +/-3 seeds.
A common name for this plant is “American Ipecac” because the plant had been used by natives as a laxative and emetic. This is not, however, the common Ipecac of modern medicine. Today’s Ipecac comes from Cephaelis ipecacuanha, a member of the Rubiaceae from South America.
Easily grown in a rather moist but well-drained lime-free peaty soil in semi-shade. Succeeds in a sunny position but requires shade at the hottest part of the day.
Seed – sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on for the first year in a lightly shaded area of the greenhouse or cold frame. Plant out in late spring and protect from slugs until well established. Division in spring or autumn.
The dried powered root bark is cathatric, slightly diaphoretic,a mild and efficient emetic,expectorant and tonic. Minute dosesare used internally in the treatment of colds, chronic diarrhea, constipation, asthma and other bronchial complications. The root have been used externally in the treatment of rhematism. A cold infution of the roots has been given , or the root chewed in the treatment of bee and insects stings.The roots are harvested in the autumn, the bark is removed and dried for later use. A tea made from the whole plant is strong laxative and emitic.Minute doses are used internally in the treatment of colds, indigestion, asthma and hepatitis.A poultice or wash is used in the treatment of rhematism,bee stings and swellings.A decoction or strong infution of the whole plant has been taken a pint at a time as an emitic.A poultice of the plant has been used to treat leg swellings. The plant has been used in the treatment of toothaches.
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.
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