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Traditional uses - Eryngium aquaticum has been used in laryngitis, because of its expectorant and diaphoretic properties, where there is a free flow of muco-pus. It was used in children for dentition diarrhoea. Its main use was in urinary conditions stricture, prostatitis, chronic cystitis, nocturnal emissions, and dyspepsia with persistent gastric irritation.
The Alabama Nation used an infusion of the plant as an emetic.
The Cherokee used an infusion of the plant to cause vomiting for nausea, and to settle the stomach.
The Choctaw used the root as an anti-poison for snake bite. The Choctaw also used the root as a powerful diuretic, stimulant and expectorant.
James Adair, an 18th century Indian trader, was one of the first to document medicinal uses of the root. He recounted tales in which Indians chewed the root, blew it on their hands, and then handled rattlesnakes without any damage. Despite these stories, this use was not widespread.
Another method was to chew the root and apply it to the wound ; at the same time a portion of the juice was swallowed. Kingís Dispensatory observes wryly, ì Much was claimed for it, but probably its virtues were very much overrated.î
In parts of Missouri, Native Americans used the leaves to weave sandals in the distant past.