American Mandrake Root (Podophyllum peltatum) is also and variously known as Mayapple, Devil’s Apple, Hog-apple, Indian Apple, American May Apple, Racoonberry, & Wild Lemon
It is a woodland plant which rtends to grow in colonies which are derived from a single root. The stems grow to 30–40 cm tall, with palmately lobed umbrella-like leaves up to 20–40 cm diameter with 3–9 shallowly to deeply cut lobes. The plants produce several stems from a creeping underground rhizome; some stems bear a single leaf and do not produce any flower or fruit, while flowering stems produce a pair or more leaves with 1–8 flowers in the axil between the apical leaves. The flowers are white, yellow or red, 2–6 cm diameter with 6–9 petals, and mature into a green, yellow or red fleshy fruit 2–5 cm long.
All the parts of the plant are poisonous, including the green fruit, but once the fruit has turned yellow, it can be safely eaten with the seeds removed.
American Mandrake root has a long traditional Native American medicinal pedigree and edible fruit.
Constituents of American Mandrake Root:-
The root and plant contain valuable constituents Quercetin, Kaempferol, Podophyllin, Isorhamnetin, Gallic-acid, Berberine, Alpha-peltatin, that are being studied for their healing, anticancer and other properties. The root is used as a medicinal herb, it is antibilious, cathartic, cytostatic, hydrogogue and purgative, it should only be used by professional Herbalists.