Texas Junior Naturalists
An online resource for students of nature and the outdoors.

Medicinal Plant Information

page 1

Compiled from Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants by Steven Foster and James A. Duke

Honey locustHoney Locust

(Gleditsia triacanthos)

Native Americans used
tea from the pods for indigestion and measles, and tea from the bark for hoarseness and sore throats.
Current knowledge about the plant:
Extracts from the seedpods are antibacterial, anti-fungal, and expectorant. Potentially toxic compounds exist in all parts of the plant. Experiments show that extracts from the seedpods break down red blood cells.

Osage-OrangeOsage-Orange

(Maclura pomifera)

Native Americans used
a root tea as a wash for sore eyes.
Current knowledge about the plant:
The inedible fruits have anti-oxidant and fungicidal compounds. The latex and sap may cause dermatitis.

Palmetto - image courtesy of Melany SarafisPalmetto

(Serenoa repens)

Native Americans used
fruit extracts to treat prostate enlargements and inflammation, colds, asthma, coughs, and migraines.
Current knowledge about the plant:
It is thought to be a sedative, diuretic, and expectorant. Pharmaceutical studies suggest it may help prostate problems.

Berchemia scandensSupplejack, Strangler vine, Rattan vine

(Berchemia scandens)

Native Americans used
a tea from the leaves and bark to purify blood and increase vigor, and burned stems in a tea to treat coughs.
Current knowledge about the plant:
No additional information

Virginia creeper - Courtesy of The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK - click to visit their siteVirginia Creeper

(Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

Native Americans used
plant tea for jaundice, root tea for gonorrhea and diarrhea, and leaf tea to wash swellings and as an astringent and diuretic.
Current knowledge about the plant:
The leaves are toxic and the berries are also thought to be toxic.

Yaupon holly Yaupon Holly

(Ilex vomitoria)

Native Americans used
A thick tea from the berries and leaves to invoke vomiting and diarrhea.
Current knowledge about the plant:
This is one of the very few native North American plants that has caffeine.
The berries are not safe to eat.

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