Herbs & Plants

Croton tiglium

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Botanical Name :Croton tiglium
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily: Crotonoideae
Genus: Croton
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malpighiales
Tribe: Crotoneae
Species: C. tiglium

Other Names :Purging croton, Physic-nut, Croton-oil plant

Habitat : Native to tropical Asia from India to New Guinea and Java, north into Indonesia and China. Wild throughout the Philippine Islands, where it is also cultivated to a limited extent; often becoming naturalized after cultivation. Grown in southern California and elsewhere as an ornamental and curious plant.

Ranging from Subtropical Moist to Tropical Very Dry throught Wet Forest Life Zones, purging croton is reported to tolerate annual precipitation of 7.0 to 42.9 dm (mean of 8 cases = 20.6), annual temperature of 21.0 to 27.5°C (mean of 8 cases = 25.3), and pH of 4 5 to 7.5 (mean of 6 cases = 6.1). (Duke, 1978, 1979) A dry land plant, adaptable to most tropical climates, up to 1,500 m elevations, not particular as to soil type or texture. Often grown in mixed forests, and commonly planted in and about towns.


Small shrub or tree up to 12 m tall evergreen; bark smooth, the younger stems stellate puberulent. Leaves alternate, simple; stipulate; petioles long; laminae ovate or elliptic-lanceolate, the bases obtuse to rounded, the margins serrate, the tips acute to acuminate, 3-costate, reticulate, the surfaces glabrous. Inflorescences in terminal racemes, bearing unisexual flowers; monoecious; bracts subulate. Flowers ebracteolate, pedicellate, unisexual, actinomorphic, pentamerous, hypogynous. Staminate flower: Calyx synsepalous, 5-partite, the tips bearded, glabrescent, persistent. Corolla apopetalous, the petals 5, linear, as long as the calyx., the margins pubescent, white. Androecium polyandrous, stamens 15, inserted on a villous receptacle, disc glands 5, small, opposite the calyx lobes, the anthers dithecous, adnate, introrse, dehiscence longitudinal. Pistillode absent. Pistillate flower: Calyx synsepalous, 5-partite, the tips bearded, stellate puberulent, villous at the base within, persistent. Corolla absent; disc obscure, annular. Pistil 1, ovary ellipsoid, stellately hispid, 3-lobed, 3-carpelled, syncarpous, 3-loculed, the placentation axile, the ovule one in each locule, the styles 3, the stigmas 2-fid. Fruit a schizocarp capsule of three 1 – seeded cocci, elliptic-oblongoid, 3-lobed, hispid; seeds oblongoid, 3-lobed, hispid; seeds oblongoid, obtusely trigonous, carunculate ,endosperm copious, fleshy. Flowering period: July – September. Fruiting period: August – November.

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Propagated from seed, the seed sown directly in the forest, or in seedbeds and the young plants planted in desired places. It may be cultivated as a pure crop or as an intercrop with cacao or coffee, providing some shade (Reed, 1976).

Plants begin bearing seed in 3 years after planting, and are full-bearing in 6 years. Seeds ripen in November and December, and should be collected before capsules open.

Constituents :C.S.I.R. reports that the oil contains 3.4% toxic resin. Of the acids, 37.0% is oleic, 19.0% linoleic, 1.5% arachidic, 0.3% stearic, 0.9% palmitic, 7.5% myristic, 0.6% acetic, 0.8% formic, with traces of lauric, tiglic, valeric, and butyric, plus some unidentified.

Medicinal uses
It is one of the 50 fundamental herbs of used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Major known ingredients are: glyceryl crotonate, crotonic acid, crotonic resin, and the tumor-promoting phorbol esters phorbol formate, phorbol butyrate, and phorbol crotonate.

Folk Medicine
According to Hartwell (1967-1971), the seed oil and bark are used in folk remedies for cancerous sores and tumors. Reported to be cathartic, diaphoretic, ecbolic, emetic, emmenagogue, purgative, rubefacient, and vesicant, purging croton is a folk remedy for apoplexy, cancer, carbuncles, colds, dysentery, fever, flux, paralysis, ranula, scabies, schistosomiasis, skin, snakebite, sore, throat, and toothache (Duke and Wain, 1981). Leaf poulticed onto snakebite in Sumatra. Seed, POISONOUS, employed as purgative in lead colic and cancer; recommended as a revulsive in colds and fever for obstinate diarrhea and dysentery, delayed menstruation, edema, ranula, apoplexy, paralysis, scabies, throat afflictions, toothache. Seed oil recently used in schistosomiasis. Bruised root applied to cancerous sores and carbuncles. Seeds contain one of the most purgative substances known; also quite vesicant; once used as emmenagogue. Homeopathically used for gastroenteritis, pustulose eczema, conjunctivitis, and mastitis. Here the reader should be warned that homeopathic practitioners use some very poisonous plants in very dilute concentrations. Like so many plants, this contains both cancer-causing and cancer correcting compounds. According to Pettit (1977), phorbol is the cocarcinogenic substance of Croton tiglium. For a man, about four seeds, for a horse, about 15 seeds represent a lethal dose. On the other hand, Pettit and Cragg (1978) list Phorbol 12-tiglate 13-decanoate as active at doses of 60-250 ug/kg against the PS-tumor system (Duke and Ayensu, 1984). In Malaya a single kernel is eaten as a purgative; when purging has gone far enough, coconut milk is drunk to stop it.

Other Uses
Studying insecticidal activity of 20 plants to adult females of Uroleuron cathami, Deshmukn and Borle (1975) reported the petroleum ether extracts of purging croton seeds to be most effective (0.125% as toxic as nicotine sulfate). Hager’s Handbuch (List and Horhammer, 1969-1979) says it is more effective than Derris extract. Himalaya tribes use the bark in arrow poisons. Bark has been used as a tannin source. Mashiguchi et al. (1977) report on the molluscididal activity of the seed against Oncomelania quadrasi. It is also used to poison fish. When Croton oil was evaluated for possible effects on the P-388 lymphocytic leukemia in mice, significant inhibitory activity was noted. Fractionation of the oil led to characterization of the major component, the phorbol diester, phorbol 12-tiglate 13-decanoate which exhibits significant inhibitory activity at dosages of 60-250 ug per kg body weight against P-388. There is a paradoxical similarity in structure between the cocarcinogenic and antileukemic principles of the Euphorbiaceae and the Thymelaeaceae (Kupchan et al., 1976). Croton oil, a fixed oil expressed from seeds by methods similar to those used to obtain castor oil, is used in human and veterinary medicine as a cathartic, irritant, and rubefacient. Internally, it is a drastic, very rapid purgative or cathartic; applied externally to the skin, it is a powerful local irritant, causing pustular eruptions. When diluted, oil is used as a counter-irritant, and is usually administered with sugar and bread crumbs. In Malaysia, the oil is used more for illumination and soapmaking than for medicine. According to the Wealth of India (C.S.I.R. 1948-1976), “Croton oil appears no longer any place in medical practice.” Crushed seeds and leaves, pulverized and put in sacks, are placed in ponds and rivers to stupefy fish.

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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Herbs & Plants

Bois de Rose (Aniba rosaeodora )

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Botanicakl Name :Aniba rosaeodora
Family: Lauraceae
Genus: Aniba
Common Names :Bois de Rose , Rosewood
Common Names in Dutch: Echt Rozenhout
Common Names in English & French:: Car-Cara
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Laurales
Species: A. rosaeodora

:It is found in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. It is threatened by habitat loss.

Traditions: Central and South America


Shrubs to tall trees , evergreen or rarely deciduous ( Cassytha a parasitic vine with leaves reduced to scales ), usually aromatic . Leaves alternate, rarely whorled or opposite, simple , without stipules, petiolate . Leaf blade : unlobed (unlobed or lobed in Sassafras ), margins entire, occasionally with domatia (crevices or hollows serving as lodging for mites ) in axils of main lateral veins (in Cinnamomum ) . Inflorescences in axils of leaves or deciduous bracts, panicles (rarely heads ), racemes , compound cymes, or pseudoumbels (spikes in Cassytha ), sometimes enclosed by decussate bracts. Flowers bisexual or unisexual , bisexual only, or staminate and pistillate on different plants , or staminate and bisexual on some plants, pistillate and bisexual on others; flowers usually yellow to greenish or white, rrely reddish; hypanthium well developed, resembling calyx tube , tepals and stamens perigynous; tepls 6(-9), in 2(-3) whorls of 3, sepaloid , equal or rarely unequal, if unequal then usually outer 3 smaller than inner 3 (occasionally absent in Litsea ) ; stamens (3-) 9(-12), in whorls of 3, but 1 or more whorls frequently staminodial or absent; stamens of 3d whorl with 2 glands near base ; anthers 2- or 4-locular, locules opening by valves ; pistil 1, 1-carpellate; ovary 1-locular; placentation basal; ovule 1; stigma subsessile , discoid or capitate. Fruits drupes, drupe borne on pedicel with or without persistent tepals at base, or seated in ± deeply cup-shaped receptacle (cupule), or enclosed in accrescent floral tube . Seed 1; endosperm absent.


click to see the pictures........(01)….

Common Uses:
Deodorants/Perfumes * Facial and Skin care *
Properties:  Analgesic* Skin tonic* Aromatic*

Personal Experience, Research, Possible Actions:

Rosewood has a similar nature to Ho Wood and is considered both emotionally uplifting and calming to the mind. Due to its high % of linalol this oil is thought to be deeply nourishing and supportive to the immune system. We use this oil for healing from an infection, cold or flu, as well as for assisting in sleep. Rosewood is a deep sedative.

Rosewood offers the immune system a boost. I use it as a regular part of my preventative health care and feel blessed to have this oil in my life. My favorites uses for Rosewood are in a bath, cream, massage oil, and in shampoo. When I am traveling I will put a few drops on a cotton ball, put it in a plastic bag, and open it up every few hours to smell its woodsy, lightly floral aroma.

Rosewood can be blended with Lavender to relieve a headache. Put both oils into a carrier oil (St. John’s Wort is my favorite for a headache) and rub on the back of your neck and on your throat as soon as the headache begins.

It is also known for its skin-healing ability (antibacterial and anti fungal). I like to steam my face with a drop of Rosewood in a bowl of hot water. Use the same technique for a sinus steam and let your skin soak up the Rosewood.

It has a wonderful anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antispasmodic action and is used for colds and flu, especially when there is muscle pain accompanied with a heavy cough.

Great for insomnia!

Traditional Knowledge


*Anti-inflammatory – reduce inflammation

*Antiseptic – assists in fighting germs/infections
*Anti fungal – inhibits growth of fungus (Candida, athlete\’s foot)
– destructive to bacteria
*Cephalic – remedy for the head (in this case, clears the head)
*Immune support – stimulates functioning of immune system

*Tonic – strengthens and restores vitality
*Nourishing for the skin

Emotional and Energetic Qualities:-
*Assists meditation
*Helps prepare for any spiritual healing
*Calms to the nerves
*Acts as an antidepressant

Rosewood essential oil (Aniba rosaeodora):

A sweet, woody, fruity scented oil which is soothing, relaxing, calming and has a tonic effect. Rosewood essential oil is a good general balancer for the emotions, thus it can have good effects when used as an anti-depressant or when used during periods of stress.Rosewood is said to stimulate new cell growth, regenerate tissues and help minimize lines and wrinkles. It can also help with dry and oily skin, acne and scars. Rosewood essential oil can also be a good oil for helping to clear headaches.

Immune Support
10 drops Rosewood
2 drops Lavender
2 drops Ravintsara
5 drops Sandalwood

Blend these oils without any carrier, making a “stock bottle”.  Add drops to a cream, oil, bath or candle diffuser. Put a drop in your shampoo or add to an unscented liquid soap.

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.


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Herbs & Plants

Black Haw (Viburnum prunifolum )

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Botanical Name :Viburnum prunifolum
Family: Adoxaceae/CAPRIFOLIACEAE Honeysuckle
Genus: Viburnum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Dipsacales
Species: V. prunifolium

Common Names
Black Haw , Stagbush, sweet viburnum, guelder-rose, water elder, arrowwood

Habotat :Native to southeastern North America, from Connecticut west to eastern Kansas, and south to Alabama and Texas.

It is a deciduous shrub or small tree growing to 2–9 m tall with a short crooked trunk and stout spreading branches; in the northern parts of its range, it is a shrub, becoming a small tree in the southern parts of its range. The bark is reddish-brown, very rough on old stems. The branchlets are red at first, then green, finally dark brown tinged with red. The winter buds are coated with rusty tomentum. The flower buds ovate, 1 cm long, much larger than the axillary buds. The leaves are simple, up to 9 cm long and 6 cm broad, oval, ovate or orbicular, wedge-shaped or rounded at base, serrate, acute, with serrated edges with a grooved and slightly winged red petiole 1.5 cm long; they turn red in fall. The leaves are superficially similar to some species of Prunus (thus “prunifolium”); they come out of the bud involute, shining, green, tinged with red, sometimes smooth, or clothed with rusty tomentum; when full grown dark green and smooth above, pale, smooth or tomentose beneath.
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The flowers are creamy white, 9 mm diameter; the calyx is urn-shaped, five-toothed, persistent; the corolla is five-lobed, with rounded lobes, imbricate in bud; the five stamens alternate with the corolla lobes, the filaments slender, the anthers pale yellow, oblong, two-celled, the cells opening longitudinally; the ovary is inferior, one-celled, with a thick, pale green style and a flat stigma and a single ovule. The flowers are borne in flat-topped cymes 10 cm in diameter in mid to late spring. The fruit is a drupe 1 cm long, dark blue-black with glaucous bloom, hangs until winter, becomes edible after being frosted, then eaten by birds; the stone is flat and even, broadly oval. Wherever it lives, black haw prefers sunny woodland with well-drained soil and adequate water.

Uses :
It has both value in the pleasure garden, providing good fall color and early winter provender for birds, and medicinal properties.

It has hybridized with Viburnum lentago in cultivation, to give the garden hybrid Viburnum × jackii.

The wood is brown tinged with red; heavy, hard, close-grained with a density of 0.8332.


•Flowers provide nectar for butterflies and other pollinators
•Plants provide excellent nesting sites and cover for birds
•Red-purple foliage contrasts with blue-black fruit in the fall
•Berries are a great source of food for birds and other wildlife in fall
•Grows well in dry soil

*Easy to grow in full sun or part shade.
*Plant in well-drained, dry to average soil. Tolerates drought.
*Prune immediately after flowering since flower buds form in summer for the following year.
*Can be grown as a large, multi-stemmed shrub or small tree.

Medicinal uses:
For centuries, black haw has been used for medical purposes, mainly for gynecological conditions. The bark is the part of the plant used in treatments.

The active components include scopoletin, aesculetin, salicin, 1-methyl-2,3 clibutyl hemimellitate, and viburnin. Tannin is another chemical component of black haw.

Native Americans used a decoction of black haw to treat gynecological conditions, including menstrual cramps, aiding recovery after childbirth, and in treating the effects of menopause. As a folk remedy, black haw has been used to treat menstrual pain, and morning sickness. Due to its antispasmodic properties, the plant may also be of use in treating cramps of the digestive tract or the bile ducts.

Black haw’s primary use was to prevent miscarriages. American slaveholders also used the plant to prevent abortions. Slaves were a valuable asset, and their owner also owned their offspring, so ensuring that female slaves gave birth was of paramount importance. In defiance, some slave women would attempt to use cotton seeds to cause a miscarriage. The slaveowners would therefore force pregnant slaves to drink an infusion of black haw to prevent that.

The primary use of black haw today is to prevent menstrual cramps. The salicin in black haw may also be of use in pain relief.

Black haw Viburnum prunifolum and cramp bark V. opulus act in similar ways and both have a long history of use by Native and pioneer women to prevent threaten miscarriage, relieve uterine cramps, and painful periods. Black haw is a stronger uterine relaxant than cramp bark, and large or frequent doses may lower blood pressure. The herb is also included in herbal mixtures for treating asthma. These tradition uses are born out with modern chemical analysis, both viburnums contain phytochemicals that facilitate uterine relaxation, two of which (aesculetin and scopoletin) also work against muscle spasms, and the pain-relieving salicin in the herb is also closely related to aspirin.

Side Effects:

Some evidence suggests black haw may aggrevate tinnitus. Not recommend for use for those with kidney stones

Safety issues
Like many other plants, including many food plants and those used as culinary herbs, black haw contains salicin, a chemical relative of aspirin. Those who are allergic to that substance should not use black haw. In addition, due to the connection between aspirin and Reye’s syndrome, young people or people afflicted with a viral disease should not use black haw.

The chemicals in black haw do relax the uterus and therefore probably prevent miscarriage; however, the salicin may be teratogenic. Consequently, pregnant women should not use black haw in the first two trimesters.Furthermore, anyone using herbs for medical reasons should only use them under the supervision of a qualified medical professional.

Black haw is not on the “generally recognized as safe list” of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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.


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Herbs & Plants

Bongardia Chrysogonum

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Botanical Name :Bongardia chrysogonum
Family : Berberidaceae
Genus : Bongardia

Synonyms :      Bongardia rauwolfia – C.A.Mey.,  Leontice chrysogonum – L.

Other Names :Leontice chrysogonum, Bongardia rauwolfia, Golden rod, Lady’s nightcap,

Habitat : N. Africa to W. Asia – Syria to Iran. Steppes, amongst field crops on clayey and solonetzic slopes. Fields, open stony hillsides and waste places.Cultivated Beds;

Perennial herbs with scapes (20-) 30-50 (-80) cm tall, erect; tuberous rhizome 2-5 cm in diam., almost globose or subglubose. Radical leaves 1-3, imparipinnate or deeply pinnatisect, petiolate, 10-20 (-25) cm long with petiole about 1/4 as long, horizontally spreading; lateral pinnae in 3-8 opposite pairs (rarely 3-4 in a whorl) and a slightly larger terminal pinna closely subtended by a pair of lateral pinnae, oblong-elliptic, sessile, 15-30 mm long, 6-10 (-15) mm broad, glaucous-green, often reddish near the rachis; terminal leaflet distinctly 3-5 toothed at the apex; fresh leaves sometimes mottled with reddish-brown spots. Racemes branched or paniculate in the upper half of the naked scapes, lax, with distant flowers on long bracteate spreading pedicels, Flowers 10-20 mm in diam., yellowish; pedicel 2-5 cm long in fruit, ascending; bracts 4-8 mm long, 2-3 mm broad, oblong-elliptic, entire, sessile. Sepals unequal in size and shape, ovate to suborbicular, 4-6 mm long, caducous. Petals oblong-ovate, lanceolate or elleptic-oblong, 8-12 mm long, 3.5-5 mm broad, yellow, irregularly and sparsely crenulate to entire with usually obtuse and retuse apices. Stamen about half as long as the petal; anthers about as long as the filaments, oblong, opening by 2 valves above. Capsule 10-15 (-20) mm long, 4-8 mm broad, ovoid or oblong-ellipsoid, scarious or membranous grooved or with many folds of the wall, rupturing or splitting irregularly from the tip below; stigma separating with a segment or portion of the wall with a conspicuous dark line below; seeds 1-4 (-6), black, pruinose, 2-3 mm in diam.


The plant prefers light (sandy) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Requires a well-drained sandy soil and a position in full sun. Strongly dislikes wet conditions. Plants must have hot, dry conditions during their summer dormancy and must not be allowed to become too wet in winter, therefore they are best grown in a bulb frame. Plants can be very long lived.

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the greenhouse, putting about 3 -4 seeds in each pot. Use deep pots since the seedlings produce a contractile root that can pull themselves down to a depth of 15 – 30cm before sending up their first leaf. The seed germinates in autumn and the first leaf appears in the spring. Grow the plants on in the greenhouse for at least 3 years before planting them out. Division is sometimes suggested as a means of increase, but is not possible for this species

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves; Root.

Tuber – baked or boiled. The leaves are eaten raw or cooked in the same manner as sorrel.

Bongardia chrysogonum’s leaves are edible as raw and the tubers as baked or boiled. (Hedrick. U.P. Sturtevant’s Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications 1972; Facciola. S. Cornucopia – A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications 1990)

Medicinal   Actions  &  Uses

A treatment for epilepsy.

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.


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Herbs & Plants

Swamp Privet (Forestiera acuminata)

Botanical Name: Forestiera acuminata
Family  : Oleaceae
Genus : Forestiera
Synonyms : Adelia acuminata – Michx., Borya acuminata – (Michx.)Willd.
Common name: swamp privet.
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Species: F. acuminata

Synonyms  :Adelia acuminata. Borya acuminata.
Common Names: Swamp Privet, Eastern swampprivet

Habitat : South-eastern N. AmericaSouth Carolina to Florida, west to Texas and Kansas. It grows on  wet river banks, by ponds and swamps. Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;

A decidious  Shrub or tree to 10 m (30 ft) tall. Crown open, irregular. Bark dark brown, ridged. Twigs light brown, slender with numerous lenticels, glabrous. Leaves opposite, simple, elliptical to oblong-ovate; 5-11 cm (2-4.5 in) long, 2.5-5 cm (1-2 in) wide; acuminate at apex, serrulate above the middle, glabrous, occasional hairs on veins beneath, yellowish green above, paler beneath, petioles slender, slightly winged at base, cuneate at base. Flowers in fascicles, subtended by yellow bracts, very small in size; calyx ring narrow and somewhat lobed, petals absent; ovary ovoid with slender style, 2-lobed stigmata; stamens 4, filaments long and slender. Fruits drupes, ovoid to oblong, dark purple to black, about 8 mm (0.3 in) long, light brown, maturing in early Summer and promptly shed.

It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower from March to April, and the seeds ripen in July. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant)
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Succeeds in most soils. Plants rarely produce fruit in Britain.

Seed – we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe in the autumn or in late winter in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood, November to February in a frame or sheltered outdoor bed.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit.

The fruit is chewed. It is about 25mm long with a thin dry flesh surrounding a large seed.

Medicinal Uses: The Native American Houma drank the root and/or bark decoction as a health-giving beverage.

A decoction of the roots and bark has been taken as a ‘health beverage’.

Other Uses

Wood – hard, strong, close-grained. The wood is soft, light and weak according to another report. It weighs 39lb per cubic foot. Used for turnery.
The fruits of swamp privet are considered good food for waterfowl.

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.