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What Is Spigelia Anthelmia?

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  • Written By: Sara Schmidt
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 17 March 2014
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Also known as pinkroot, spigelia anthelmia is tropical annual weed. Used in many herbal remedies, it may be used to treat conditions of the heart and eye, among others. It can also be employed in ridding the body of intestinal parasites.

The most common use for spigelia anthelmia is in treating the body for intestinal parasites, such as roundworm and tapeworm. Native American tribes used the weed's root for this purpose. Herbologists recommend blending the root with fennel, senna, and other herbs to create a potent parasite removal formula. Head maladies, such as migraines, general headaches, and sinus infections, may also be remedied through the use of spigelia anthelmia.

Alkaloids present within spigelia anthelmia make it effective against heart disease. Other heart problems, such as mururs, rheumatic heart disease, angina, and valve disorders have been treated with the herbal remedy. Pinkroot can help relieve general chest pain, especially that which extends into the chest, arms, and throat, as well. The herb works as a laxative, too, in addition to having antibacterial properties.

Inflammation of the mucus membranes can be healed by using pinkroot. A sleep aid, the weed has narcotic properties, and can help ease pain associated with the eyes and teeth. Other ailments spigelia anthelmia may be used to treat include the common cold, congestion, and nerve pain. Some studies have shown that the plant may be helpful in treating cancer and HIV.

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People who wish to use this home herbal remedy should first consult with a medical practitioner, as it can be very poisonous if not administered correctly. Large doses can cause heart damage, dizziness, convulsions, and vision problems. Women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid using the weed. After taking the medicine, if symptoms worsen or persist for four or more days, a physician should be contacted and use of the supplement should be discontinued.

Spigelia anthelmia is also known as wormbush, India pink, and Demerana pinkroot. Other names it may be known as include worm grass, worm root, kromantikankan, starbloom, erva-lombrigueria, Maryland pink, and kromanti-kankan. The weed can grow up to a foot (.3 meters) in height. Pinkroot has short, feathery leaves arranged in a whorl-like pattern, spikes that feature small, ornamental purple flowers, and a strong, disagreeable odor.

Full sun is required for optimal pinkroot growth. A hardy weed, it can survive drought; but for best results, the plant should be grown in moist sandy loam. Spigelia anthelmia's tube-shaped flowers bloom from May to July. Though once found in many parts of the United States, the weed's population has dwindled severely from being harvested for medical use.

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