Also known as Mayapple, Devil’s Apple, Hog-apple, Indian Apple, American May Apple, Racoonberry, & Wild Lemon
It is a most powerful and useful alternative medicine. A possible treatment for cancer is being tested as it contains podophyllin, which has an antimiotic effect (it interferes with cell division and can thus prevent the growth of cells). The resin, which is obtained from the root, is used in the treatment of warts.
The whole plant, apart from the ripe fruit, is highly poisonous in large doses. American Mandrake herb produces nausea and vomiting, and even inflammation of the stomach and intestines, which has been known to prove fatal. In moderate doses, it is a drastic purgative with some cholagogue action. Not a medicinal herb to be used during pregnancy, and may cause birth defects.
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.