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Botanical Name: Trillium pendulum (WILLD.)/Trillium erectum (LINN.)
Family: Melanthiaceae/ Liliaceae
Species: T. erectum
Synonyms: Indian Shamrock. Birthroot. Lamb’s Quarters. Wake-Robin. Indian Balm. Ground Lily.
Common Names: wake-robin, red trillium, purple trillium, Beth root, or stinking Benjamin
Habitat:Bethroot is native to the east and north-east of North America .
Bethroot is a Spring ephemeral, an herbaceous perennial whose life-cycle is synchronised with that of the deciduous forests where it lives.This plant grows to about 40 cm (16 in) in height with a spread of 30 cm (12 in), and can tolerate extreme cold in winter, surviving temperatures down to ?35 °C (?31 °F). Like all trilliums, its parts are in groups of three, with 3-petalled flowers above whorls of pointed triple leaves. The leaves contain calcium oxalate crystals and crystal raphide, and should not be consumed by humans. The flowers are a deep red colour, though there is a white form. The flowers have the smell of rotting meat, as they are pollinated by flies.
The plant takes its name “wake-robin” by analogy with the Robin, which has a red breast heralding spring.
This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit.
*Trillium erectum var. album (Michx.) Pursh
*Trillium erectum var. erectum
Constituents: There have been found in it volatile and fixed oils, tannic acid, saponin, a glucoside resembling convallamarin, an acid crystalline principle coloured brown tinged with purple by sulphuric acid, and light green with sulphuric acid and potassium dichromate, gum, resin, and much starch.
The fluid extract is an ingredient in Compound Elixir of Viburnum Opulus.
Professor E. S. Wayne isolated the active principle, calling it Trilline, but the preparation sold under that name has no medicinal value, while the Trilline of Professor Wayne has not been used.
Medicinal Uses: It is antiseptic, astringent and tonic expectorant, being used principally in haemorrhages, to promote parturition, and externally, usually in the form of a poultice, as a local irritant in skin diseases, or to restrain gangrene.
The leaves, boiled in lard, are sometimes applied to ulcers and tumours.
The roots may be boiled in milk, when they are helpful in diarrhoea and dysentery.
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.