Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Nabalus serpentaria

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Prenanthes serpentarian, Nabalus serpentaria

Etymology

Etymology -  The more frequently used name , prenanthes , is derived from the Greek, (prenes ) = drooping, and (anthe ) = flower.
Alba comes from the Latin for White, while serpentarius refers. to snakelike.

 From the Greek prenes (face downwards) and anthos (flower), referring to flower's drooping habit

Family

Traditional name

Used parts

Homeopathic preparation.

The whole plant, gathered during the flowering season, is treated as directed under Lappa. (page 92 - 2) The resulting tincture has a beautiful deep - orange color by transmitted light; an odor similar to that of the root; a bitter, astringent taste; and an acid reaction.(Millspaugh's Medicinal Plants)

Classification

N.O.
Plantae; Spermatophyta, Angiospermae - Flowering Plants; Dicotyledonae; Asteridae / Synandrae; Asterales; Compositae / Asteraceae - Composites / Daisy or Sunflower Family

(Wichman Natural Relationships)

Keywords

Original proving

Proving. Proven by Dr. M. E. Lazarus. (Douglass' Materia Medica)

Description of the substance

Botanical description.

This variable perennial herb, grows to a height of from 1 to 3 feet. Root very bitter, fusiform, thickened or more or less tuberous; stem stout, upright, glabrous or a little hirsute, sometimes purple - spotted or splashed. Leaves alternate, diversely variable, dilated, often decurrent upon the petiole, rather thin and pale beneath; deeply sinuate - pinnatified, or 3 - parted, and the terminal lobe 3 - cleft; the margin a little rough - ciliate; the cauline nearly of long, slender, petioled; the upper more or less lanceolate; the lower and redical truncate, cordate, or hastate at the base. Inflorescence corymbosely thyrsoid paniculate; heads drooping, mostly glomerate at the summit of the ascending, or spreading floral - branchlets or peduncles, 8 to 12 flowered; involucre cylindrical, green, rarely purplish - tinged; scales 5 to 14, in a single row, with a few small bractlets at their base; receptacle naked. Flowers all perfect, pendulous, purlish, greenish - white or ochroleucous; corolla ligulate; style long and slender; stigmas much exserted. Akenes linear - oblong or terete, truncated, and finely serrate; pappus sordid; straw - color or whitish (As a shade of color cannot be absolutely kept through several thousand copies in lithography, some of the plates may not represent the pappus correctly.) composed of rough capillary bristles. (Millspaugh's Medicinal Plants)

This is an indigenous perennial herb, with a somewhat glaucous stem, with rough dentate leaves, of which the radical are palmate, the cauline with long foot - stalks, sinuate - pinnatifid, disposed to be three - lobed, with the middle lobe three - parted, and the upper lanceolate. The racemes are terminal, somewhat panicled, short and nodding, with an eight - cleft calyx, and twelve florets. It is about two feet high, with purple flowers; it is common to the mountainous districts of Virginia, North Carolina, and other sections of the United States, and flowers in August. The root is thick and tuberous; the whole plant is used in medicine, the milky juice of which is probably the active agent; it is the Prenanthes serpens of Pursch.

[This plant is said by botanists to be a variety of the Nabulus albus, which is also known by the name of Lion's - foot, as well as White - lettuce, Rattlesnake - root, all of which are given to the Nabulus serpentaria; it is the Prenanthes albus of Linnaeus.] (Hale Materia Medica 1)

Habitat.

This botanically difficult species, assumes, in its mode of growth and shape of leaf, all the forms P . alba to P . altissima , including two varieties ( nana and barbata ); hardly two plants in any one district being found with constant characters except, mayhap, those of the glomerules and pappus. Thus, now P . serpentaria inches in itself what were once considered to be 17 distinct species and varieties; and affords an interminable filed of work for a botanist of Rafinesquian tendencies. The Rattlesnake Root is indigenous to North America where it ranges from New Brunswick and Canada, to Florida, being especially abundant northward. It habits the sterile soil of open grounds and hilly wood - borders, and blossoms in August and September. (Millspaugh's Medicinal Plants)


(Lion's - foot.)
     Botanical Description. This is an indigenous perennial herb, with a somewhat glaucous stem, with rough dentate leaves, of which the radical are palmate, the cauline with long foot - stalks, sinuate - pinnatifid, disposed to be three - lobed, with the middle lobe three - parted, and the upper lanceolate. The racemes are terminal, somewhat panicled, short and nodding, with an eight - cleft calyx, and twelve florets. It is about two feet high, with purple flowers; it is common to the mountainous districts of Virginia, North Carolina, and other sections of the United States, and flowers in August. The root is thick and tuberous; the whole plant is used in medicine, the milky juice of which is probably the active agent; it is the Prenanthes serpens of Pursch.
     [This plant is said by botanists to be a variety of the Nabulus albus, which is also known by the name of Lion's - foot, as well as White - lettuce, Rattlesnake - root, all of which are given to the Nabulus serpentaria; it is the Prenanthes albus of Linnaeus.]    

Flowers and Foliage:
*    The flowers are classified as hermaphrodite.
*    Insects are responsible for pollinating this variety.
*    There have been no direct recordings of this plant providing food, shelter etc for native wildlife.
*    The following areas are considered to be this plants natural range: Northeastern N. America - Maine to Georgia, west to N. Dakota..
http://gardenbed.com/source/43/4282_cul.asp

Category:
Perennials
Height:
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
Bloom Color:
Pale Pink
Pink
White
Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall

Foliage:
Herbaceous
Blue-Green


One of the several species of Rattlesnake Root. Photographed at a prairie in northwest Indiana.(Reference to the photo in the first page).

This indigenous perennial grows in rich soil on the borders of woods. The stem, two to four feet high, purplish and often deeply so in spots, arises from a spindle - shaped tuberous root. Radical leaves, angular - hastate, more less deeply lobed. Stem leaves, round - ovate, sinuate - toothed. The lobes or leaves are obtuse. Flower - heads in corymbous panicles at the summit of the stem. Eight to twelve flowered, pappus deep cinnamon - colored. Var. Serpentaria has radical leaves, palmate - sinuate, stem leaves on long petioles middle segment three - parted.

Physical Characteristics
Perennial growing to 1.5m. It is hardy to zone 5. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. We rate it 1 out of 5 for usefulness.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid and neutral soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It requires moist soil.
Habitats and Possible Locations
Woodland, Dappled Shade, Shady Edge, Deep Shade.
Edible Uses
None known
Medicinal Uses

Antidote.
The plant is said to be an antidote for snake bites[207].
 
The juice of the plant repels snakes[207].
Cultivation details
Succeeds in shade or semi-shade in a moist but well-drained humus-rich neutral to acid soil[200].
Propagation
Seed - surface sow in a greenhouse in spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

Botanical Description.

This is an indigenous perennial herb, with a somewhat glaucous stem, with rough dentate leaves, of which the radical are palmate, the cauline with long foot - stalks, sinuate - pinnatifid, disposed to be three - lobed, with the middle lobe three - parted, and the upper lanceolate. The racemes are terminal, somewhat panicled, short and nodding, with an eight - cleft calyx, and twelve florets. It is about two feet high, with purple flowers; it is common to the mountainous districts of Virginia, North Carolina, and other sections of the United States, and flowers in August. The root is thick and tuberous; the whole plant is used in medicine, the milky juice of which is probably the active agent; it is the Prenanthes serpens of Pursch.
     [This plant is said by botanists to be a variety of the Nabulus albus, which is also known by the name of Lion's - foot, as well as White - lettuce, Rattlesnake - root, all of which are given to the Nabulus serpentaria; it is the Prenanthes albus of Linnaeus.]
    
The plant Nabalus albus, Hooker (Prenanthes alba, Linné).
Nat. Ord.—Compositae.
COMMON NAMES: Lion's foot, Rattlesnake root, White lettuce, Gall of the earth, Cancer weed.

Botanical Source.—This plant is an indigenous, perennial herb, with a smooth, somewhat glaucous stem, corymbose-paniculate at the summit, stout, purplish, often deeply so in spots, from 2 to 4 feet in height. The radical leaves are angular-hastate, often more or less deeply 3 to 5-lobed; the uppermost cauline ones lanceolate; between these the intermediate forms hastate and ovate, petiolate, and all irregularly dentate. The heads are pendulous and glabrous; the involucre of 8 linear scales, and from 9 to 12-flowered; the scales purplish, and the corollas whitish. Pappus brown (W.—G.).

There is a variety of the above plant Nabalus Serpentaria (or Prenanthes Serpentaria), with rough, dentate leaves, of which the radical are palmate, the cauline with long foot-stalks, sinuate-pinnatifid, disposed to be 3-lobed, with the middle lobe 3-parted, the upper lanceolate. The racemes are terminal, somewhat panicled, short, nodding, with an 8-cleft calyx, and 12 florets; it is about 2 feet high, with purple flowers (W.—G.).

History and Chemical Composition.—This plant is found in moist woods and shades, in rich soils, from New England to Iowa, and from Canada to Carolina, flowering in August. The variety N. Serpentaria is common to the mountainous districts of Virginia, North Carolina, and other sections of the United States, and is considered more active than the N. albus. The root, leaves, and juice of the plant are employed. According to N. B. Williams (Amer. Jour. Pharm., 1887,1). 117), the rhizome contains tannin, gum, resins, etc., and the leaves 12 per cent of ash.

Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—Nabalus is said to be an antidote to the bite of the rattlesnake, and other poisonous serpents. The milky juice of the plant is taken internally, while the leaves steeped in water are to be applied to the wound, and frequently changed. A decoction of the root, which is bitter, has been successfully used in the bite of the rattlesnake, also in dysentery. This plant is deserving further and more accurate investigation, possessing undoubted power over the nervous system. A strong tincture of the green plant (viii to alcohol, 76 per cent, Oj) should be employed in doses of from 1 to 20 drops in experimenting for its effects in nervous disorders.


Common perennial herb widely distributed in the southern and eastern United States having drooping clusters of pinkish flowers and thick basal leaves suggesting a lion's foot in shape; sometimes placed in genus Prenanthes.
Perennial growing to 1.5m. It is hardy to zone 5. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid and neutral soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It requires moist soil.
Habitats and Possible Locations:
Woodland, Dappled Shade, Shady Edge, Deep Shade
Range: Eastern N. America - Massachusetts to New York, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.
Habitat: Fields and thickets.