Trillium (Trillium erectum)
Trillium is a member of the lily family (Liliaceae).
The solitary, nodding flower rises on a stalk above a whorl of 3 broadly ovate, diamond-shaped leaves. The flowers are about 2-1/2 inches wide with 3 petals and a maroon or reddish-brown color. The flowers have 3 green sepals and 6 stamens. The leaves grow up to 7 inches long and are dark green. Most members of the Lily family are parallel-veined, but
trillium is net-veined. The fruit is an oval reddish berry.
The plant grows from 8 to 16 inches in height.
Family: Liliaceae (Lily family)
Other Names: Beth root, Birth root, Wake-robin
Flowers: April – June
Parts Used: Root, whole plant
Habitat: Rich woods. Nova Scotia to Georgia mountains, to Florida; Tennessee to Michigan and Ontario.
Constituents: Steroidal saponins (including diosgenin), fixed oil, gum,
Properties: Antiseptic, Astringent, Diaphoretic, Emmenagogue, Expectorant, Tonic.
Main uses: Menstrual disorders.
American Indians use (Beth Root) as an aid to lessen pain and difficulty at the time of childbirth, hence the name, Birth Root. Taken internally, it has a soothing tonic impression. The properties of Trillium are due to its active principle and is used for all forms of hemorrhages, such as bleeding from the nose, mouth, stomach, bowels and bladder. it also has the reputation for preventing over-profuse menstruation, and it has been used for menopause. Its astringent action has been put to use to treat gastro-intestinal bleeding, diarrhea, and dysentery, and the plant has been used externally as an antiseptic poultice. The saponin diosgenin in the plant has a close relationship to human sex hormones, cortisone, Vitamin D, and cardiac glycosides.
Trillium can be used for coughs, bronchial problems, hemorrhage from the lungs, pulmonary consumption, and, especially when boiled in milk, for diarrhea. As a poultice or a salve, it makes an effective application for insect bites and stings.
Preparation And Dosages:
Infusion: 1 teaspoon of the powdered root to 1 cup of boiling water; let steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Drink 2 to 3 cups a day, or more often in wineglass amounts, as case requires.
Poultice: The root made into a poultice is very useful in tumors, ulcers, and stings of insects.
Fresh Plant Tincture: (1:2) in 60% alcohol. Take 15 to 25 drops up to 3 times a day.