Herbs & Plants

Coptis trifolia

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Botanical Name: Coptis trifolia
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Coptis
Species: C. trifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms: Helleborus triflius or trilobus. Helleborus pumilus. Coptis. Anemone grcenlandica. Coptide. Mouthroot. Vegetable Gold. Chrusa borealis.

Common Names: Coptis groenlandica, Cankerroot , the threeleaf goldthread or savoyane

Habitat:Coptis trifolia is native to Northern America and Asia. Greenland and Iceland.

Coptis trifolia is a small, perennial, evergreen herb, 4″ – 6″ tall. Leaves are dark, evergreen; divided like those of wild strawberries. The plant has many stems, wiry, branched, and frequently matted. Rhizome is long, slender creeping; bright golden yellow. Flowers are ½” wide, white, bloom in early summer. They form endomycorrhizal associations..CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES.

Parts Used: The dried rhizome, with roots, stems, and leaves.

Constituents: Its bitterness is imparted to both water and alcohol, but more readily to the latter. As there is neither tannic nor gallic acid, the activity is due to berberia or berberine, which is associated with another alkaloid called Coptine or Coptina, resembling hydrastia. It also contains albumen, fixed oil, colouring matter, lignin, extractive, and sugar. Authorities differ as to the presence of resin.

Medicinal Uses:
The roots and rhizomes of cankerroot chewed raw or boiled, have been used to treat canker sores, fever blisters, and other mouth irritations and to treat indigestion and sore throats. A medicinal brew from the roots has been used as an eyewash. The effectiveness of all these uses is due to the presence of the alkaloid berberine, a mild sedative, in the plant. A decoction of equal parts of cankerroot and goldenseal has acquired the reputation of eliminating the craving for alcoholic beverages

It may be used as other pure bitters. In New England it is valued as a local application in thrush, for children.

It is stated to be good for dyspepsia, and combined with other drugs is regarded as helpful in combating the drink habit.

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

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