Stone Root (Collinsonia canadensis)
Stone Root is a perennial herb with a square stem, which grows from 1 to 4 feet in height. The leaves are large, oval and coarsely toothed. Flowers are greenish-yellow, lower lip fringed, stamen strongly protruding; lemon-like scent. It grows in moist woods and
flowers from July through September. The rhizome is brown-gray, about 4 inches long, knobby, and very hard. The whole plant has a strong, disagreeable odor and a pungent and spicy taste. The chief virtue of the plant is in the root, which should always be used fresh. The name is derived from its discoverer, Peter Collinson.
Harvest: Roots and rhizome are dug up in the autumn.
Family: Labiatae (Mint family)
Other Names: Hardhack, Horseweed, Horse Balm, Heal-all, Knob Grass, Knob Root, Richweed
Flowers: July – September
Parts Used: Root, rhizome, and leaves.
Habitat: Rich woods. Ontario to Vermont to Florida; Missouri to Wisconsin.
Constituents: Essential oil, tannins, saponins, alkaloid, resins, and organic acid.
Properties: Antispasmodic, Astringent, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Sedative, Tonic.
Main Uses: Stone Root has a special influence on the nervous system and mucous membranes, removing congestion and improving circulation of the capillaries. This influence is most marked in relaxed conditions of the mucous membranes of the throat and lower bowels. A valuable remedy in sore throat, laryngitis, pharyngitis, with relaxed and enfeebled capillary circulation.
Stone Root is used in the treatment and prevention of stone and gravel in the urinary system and the gall-bladder. Traditional herbalists have used Stone Root for hemorrhoids, catarrhal gastritis, pain in the rectum, heart tonic, rheumatic inflammation, dysentery, ulcers, inflammation of the middle ear, and acute cystitis. It is also a strong diuretic.
Indications: Sense of constriction, pain and constriction with irritation in throat, larynx, bladder and anus; a feeling as if a foreign object was lodged in the part. Pain in the rectum and lower bowels.
Preparation and Dosages:
Tincture: [Fresh Root, 1:2] 20 to 40 drops up to 3 times a day.
Tincture: [Dry Root, 1:5, 60% alcohol] 45 to 60 drops up to 4 times a day.
Decoction: Put 1 to 2 teaspoonfuls of the dried root in a cup of water, bring to boiling and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. This should be taken three times a day.
Stone Root leaves can be used externally as poultices for bruises, wounds, sores, cuts, etc. Can also be used as a gargle, in the strength of 1 part of fluid extract to 3 parts water.
Combinations: For urinary stone and gravel, it may be combined with Hydrangea or Joe-Pye Weed.