Scientific Names: Spigelia marilandica
Arabic names: القلقاس الأَبْقَع (al qulqaasu l’abqa’e)
Rain Forest names:
Approximate Number of Species Known:
Common Parts Used:
Height: 1 to 2 feet
Actions: Anthelmintic (destroys worms), narcotic
Known Constituents: Spigline, a poisonous alkaloid, tannin, resin, wax, fat, albumen, myricin, mucilage and a bitter principle
Description: (please note: this is the general characteristics – colour, flavor etc)
Herb Name: Pink Root
Latin name: Spigelia marilandica
Common part used:
Dried rhizome, root and entire plant
The pinkroot is a perpetually growing herb that is distinct for its ornamental flowers. The plant usually grows up to a height of one to two feet and has a number of four-sided smooth and purple colored stems each of which end with a single sided barb containing four to twelve decorative flowers. The leaves of the herb are without stalks or stems and grow alternatively and opposite to each other on the main stem. Normally, the pinkroot leaves are slightly oval shaped with pointed tips and grow two to four inches long. On the other hand, the pinkroot flowers are extremely showy and blossom during the May-July period. These flowers are funnel or tube shaped in appearance and grows up to two inches long. The pinkroot flowers comprise two blazing hemispheres – red in the exterior and bright yellow inside.
Although the pinkroot is reported to have several remedial uses, presently herbal practitioners use the herb primarily to throw out worms, especially tapeworms and roundworms, from the intestines. In fact, herbalists also recommend the use of pinkroot along with other herbs like senna and fennel with a view to make certain the removal of both the worms and the root too. It may be mentioned here that the root of the pinkroot herb is said to be potentially noxious if it is absorbed by the stomach.
It may be mentioned here that the natives of America have been using the pinkroot to cure several ailments much before Columbus discovered America. Chemical analysis of the pinkroot has shown that it comprises proved medical elements like spigeline, lignin, tannin, albumin and myricin. Latest researches conducted on pinkroot have shown that some of these ingredients have properties that may be used to treat HIV, cancer and coronary ailments. The other remedial properties of pinkroot consist of anti-bacterial, anti-diarrheic, antioxidant, anthelmintic and laxative. The herb is accepted most for its anthelmintic properties and is considered to be a very powerful medication for tapeworm and roundworm. Normally, the pinkroot is considered to be a protected and effective medicine provided it is administered in the right dosage and always pursued by saline aperients like magnesium sulphate.
Medicinal Uses: Its chief use is as a very active and certain vermifuge, most potent for tapeworm and specially so for the round worm; its use was known among the Indians for worms long before America was discovered. It is a safe and efficient drug to give to children, if administered in proper doses and always followed by saline aperients, such as magnesium sulphate, otherwise unpleasant and serious symptoms may occur, such as disturbed vision, dizziness, muscular spasms, twitching eyelids, increased action of the heart. In large doses, these are increased; both circulation and respiration being depressed and loss of muscular power caused, and cases have been known resulting, in children, in death from convulsions. It is also useful for children’s fevers not caused by the irritation of vermin, such as those occurring from hydrocephalus.