Herbs & Plants

White baneberry

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Botanical Name : Actaea pachypoda
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Actaea
Species: A. pachypoda
Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta
Division: Magnoliophyta
Superdivision: Spermatophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales

Common Names:Doll’s-eyes, White Baneberry

Habitat :Actaea pachypoda  is  native to eastern North America.

It is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 50 cm or more tall (1½ to 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide). It has toothed, bipinnate compound leaves up to 40 cm long and 30 cm broad. The white flowers are produced in spring in a dense raceme about 10 cm long. Its most striking feature is its fruit, a 1 cm diameter white berry, whose size, shape, and black stigma scar give the species its other common name, “doll’s eyes”. The berries develop and ripen over the summer, and persist on the plant until frost. Fall color may be yellowish, and is fairly unremarkable..

White baneberry prefers clay to coarse loamy upland soils, and are found in hardwood and mixed-forest stands. In cultivation it requires part to full shade, rich loamy soil, and regular water with good drainage to reproduce its native habitat.

Medicinal Uses:
Baneberry root tea is sometimes used as an appetite stimulant, but is also used to treat stomach pains, coughs, colds, menstrual irregularities, and postpartum pains. It works well in increasing milk flow in nursing women and is used as a purgative after childbirth. White Baneberry has been used as a remedy for snake-bite, especially rattlesnake bite.

Known Hazards: The berries are highly poisonous, and the entire plant is considered poisonous to humans. First Nations peoples are reported to have drunk a tea made from the root of this plant after childbirth.

The berries contain cardiogenic toxins which can have an immediate sedative effect on human cardiac muscle tissue, and are the most poisonous part of the plant. Ingestion of the berries can lead to cardiac arrest and death. The berries are harmless to birds, the plant’s primary seed dispersers.

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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