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MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
Nutrition Basics

Culver Root, Leptandra

(Leptandra Virginica, Veronicastrum Virginicum)

"For Informational Use Only"
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  • Black Root Herbal Description
  • Black Root Uses, Health Benefits & Scientific Evidence
  • Black Root Dosage Information
  • Black Root Safety, Cautions & Interactions
  • Black Root Supplements & Products

  • black root aka culver root


    Black Root (Leptandra virginica, Veronicastrum virginicum, Veronica virginica) is also known as Beaumont Root, Bowman's Root, Brinton Root, Culver Physic, Culver's Root, Culver Root, Hini, Leptandra, Oxadoddy, Purple Leptandra, Tall Speedwell, Tall Veronica, and Whorlywort.

    Black Root is a perennial herb with slender stems growing up to 7 feet tall. It is a wildflower native to the United States. It is cultivated as a garden flower in the Eastern United States. With swirls of 3 or more narrow lance-shaped leaves circle the stem at its joints. The flowers are small white, pinkish, or blue flowers. The Seneca Indians used this herb in ceremonial purifications to induce vomiting and the Chippewa Indians used the root as a blood cleanser. Early practitioners used Black Root for its laxative and emetic properties. The root is also said to increase the flow of bile from the liver.


    Herbalists use dried Black Root in the treatment of liver disorders, gallbladder disorders, chronic indigestion and other conditions thought to arise from liver dysfunction.

    In small doses, it can be used as a laxative and also relieves flatulence and bloating. It helps soothe hemorrhoids and rectal prolapse (a falling down of an organ). Black Root is also prescribed for skin problems associated with poor liver function.


    Black Root comes in various forms and is an ingredient in many products. Due to its strong actions, it is best to consult with a health care provider for the treatment of your condition.


    Grieve's classic 'A Modern Herbal': The fresh root is a violent cathartic and may also be emetic. The dried root is milder and less certain. Leptandrin excites the liver gently and promotes the secretion of bile without irritating the bowels or purging. As it is also a tonic for the stomach, it is very useful in diarrhea, chronic dysentery, cholera infantum, and torpidity of the liver. The accounts of its use are conflicting, perhaps owing to the difference in the action of the root in its dry and fresh states. There appears to be a risk of the fresh root producing bloody stools and possibly abortion, though a decoction may be useful in intermittent fever. It has been stated that the dried root has been employed with success in leprosy and cachetic diseases, and in combination with cream of tartar, in dropsy.

    Dosages: 15 to 60 grains.
    Of the impure resin, 2 to 4 grains.
    Of the powdered extract, U.S.P., 4 grains.
    Of the fluid extract, 15 minims as a laxative.
    Leptandrin, 1/4 to 2 grains.

    The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.: Black Root, when fresh, is a somewhat acrid cathartic; but drying dissipates its harshness, and it is then an almost pure relaxant. Its action is mild and very slow the cathartic result rarely being obtained from a common dose in less than ten hours, and sometimes not for eighteen hours. The action on the liver is that for which leptandra is most valued; and its mildness, persistency, and reliability, make it superior to almost any agent of its class where hepatic relaxants are needed. In dysentery and diarrhea it is perhaps unequaled–not for any astringent action, as some suppose, but for removing the origin of the trouble by eliminating bile and dislodging alvine accumulations. While the influence of leptandra is thus beneficial in so many cases, it must be employed with discrimination.

    King's American Dispensatory - by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D., and John Uri Lloyd, Phr. M., Ph. D., 1898: Physiologically, leptandra acts upon the gastric, hepatic, and intestinal apparatus. The fresh root is actively and dangerously cathartic, and has produced violent emesis and bloody purging, accompanied by vertigo, and administered to the pregnant female has produced miscarriage. In this state, it is totally unfit for a cathartic, but upon drying the root loses its drastic qualities, and becomes a safe cholagogue, laxative, and cathartic. In ordinary doses it does not produce copious alvine discharges, but gently stimulates the functions of the liver. It does not debilitate nor lower the tone of the bowels or the general system, but gently stimulates and strengthens the functional activity of the whole intestinal appendages. No better laxative can be used in atonic states of the system than leptandra. No matter how great the intestinal atony, it will be found to operate gently and without systemic disturbance. It is an exceedingly useful drug for conditions depending upon hepatic torpor. Small doses restore the liver to its normal condition. The cathartic action of leptandra is beneficial in the forming stages of fevers and in the early stages of dysentery. It relieves the constipated upper bowel, increases the biliary secretions, and acts as an unirritating intestinal tonic, and the dysenteric discharges are speedily checked. In acute dysentery it should be used early. It is an admirable remedy for chronic dysentery, with chronic enteritis, accompanied by dizziness, cold extremities, headache, abdominal and hepatic pain, with mental depression. It is a good agent for atonicity of the stomach and liver. Leptandra is a useful remedy in disorders of the liver. It is a valuable agent in that state known as "biliousness." In acute hepatitis combine the dried alcoholic extract with a small portion of diaphoretic powder to relieve the congested viscus. An occasional dose is not without good effect in chronic inflammation of the liver.

    Materia Medica and Clinical Therapeutics. by Fred J. Petersen, M.D. , 1905: Properties include use as a tonic, laxative, cathartic and cholagogue. Indications include malaise, soreness on pressure and fullness in the region of the liver. Inactivity of the gastrointestinal organs, torpid liver, constipation, dull headache, loss of appetite, cold skin and extremities, mental depression and great lassitude. All of which indicate deficiency in the action of the liver and gastro-intestinal tract. It tones up these organs and improves their function. We think of it in malarial conditions, in which cases it stimulates the secretion of bile and improves the function of the liver. We think of it in remittent and intermittent fevers, and if given with quinine the affect of the latter is much more marked. It tones up the gastrointestinal tract, increases the activity of the glandular organs, is therefore indicated where there is inactivity or torpidity of these organs.

    The American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy. by Finley Ellingwood, M.D., 1919: In malarial conditions no cathartic is more efficient than leptandra. It may be given in full doses, and there is no irritation from its action. It certainly increases the discharge of bile and stimulates and greatly improves the function of the liver. In ague when quinine is given as an antiperiodic, if from one-fourth to one grain of leptandra be given with each dose in the intermission, the effects are much more marked and the influence is more permanent. It is demanded in malarial fevers of all kinds, and especially in remittent fever. It is given alone at the onset of the attack as a laxative and in the remission, in small doses in conjunction with the antiperiodic, proving a most valuable auxiliary to the treatment. As an addition to vegetable tonics when malarial conditions prevail, it improves the tone of the entire gastro-intestinal canal and increases the functional activity of the glandular organs. In some cases small doses in wine will produce excellent results. In the treatment of jaundice it is a valuable auxiliary, and combined with the tonics here indicated its influence is most desirable. It clears the skin, produces black alvine evacuation, and assists in overcoming the entire train of symptoms. Leptandra has no superior in a case of this character and must be used freely to be appreciated. It is certainly under-estimated.


    Black Root in small doses is generally regarded as safe.

    However, if you are on any medications (prescription or over-the-counter) it is best to seek the advice of a health care provider before using Black Root for the treatment of your condition. If you have liver, kidney, or gallbladder problems, it is especially important to talk with your health care provider before using this herb.

    Not for use by young children, or pregnant or nursing women.


  • Black Root (Culver Root) Herbal Products




    Kalyx: Culver Root Extract (Black Root; Veronica Virginica), Health & Herbs, 2 fl. oz: HH
    Kalyx: Culver Root Extract (Black Root; Veronica Virginica), Non-Alcoholic, Health & Herbs, 2 fl. oz: HH
    Kalyx: Culver Root Extract (Black Root; Veronica Virginica), Health & Herbs, 8 fl. oz: HH
    Kalyx: Culver Root Extract (Black Root; Veronica Virginica), Non-Alcoholic, Health & Herbs, 8 fl. oz: HH
    Kalyx: Culver Root Extract (Black Root; Veronica Virginica), Health & Herbs, 16 fl. oz: HH
    Kalyx: Culver Root Extract (Black Root; Veronica Virginica), Health & Herbs, 32 fl. oz: HH


  • Nutrition Basics: Black Root Herbal Information

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