Lady's Slipper
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Click here for a larger image. LADY'S SLIPPER  
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Botanical:  Cypripedium pubescens (large)
Family:   Orchidaceae (orchid)
Other common names:  American Valerian, Nerve Root, Noah's Ark, Yellow Lady's Slipper, Cypripedium, Bleeding Heart, Moccasin Flower, Monkey Flower, Slipper Root, Venus Shoe, Yellows,

Lady's Slipper Orchid, Yellow Indian Shoe, Whippoorwill's Shoe

The root of Lady's Slipper is called "Nature's Tranquilizer" and is used primarily as a gentle tonic to calm the nerves and ease tension, anxiety and stress.  Often called American Valerian, Lady's Slipper is also thought to relieve depression, recurring headaches and hyperactivity in children.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

History:
Lady's Slipper is a perennial plant that is native to the woods and meadows of North America.  The fleshy rootstock produces several round, hairy stems with alternate leaves and characteristic golden yellow flowers, lined with purple, blooming from May to July.  This beautiful member of the orchid family has a characteristic lower lip that forms an inflated sac, which suggests the shape of a moccasin, thereby giving the plant one of its common names, Moccasin Flower.  Lady's Slipper is a pungent, bittersweet herb with an unpleasant odor and thrives in moist, humus-rich soil in an open or shady situation, growing to about two feet in height.  Like many other native orchids, Lady's Slipper is becoming increasingly rare, and its history as an ornamental is as rich as its distinguished medicinal past.  The plant was widely employed by Native Americans as a tranquilizer, and the early settlers found that it was a good substitute for the garden heliotrope (Valerian) that women and children had used as a sedative in Europe.  They began to refer to the plant as American Valerian, and by the mid-nineteenth century, doctors were prescribing the root for hysteria, delirium, irritability, muscle twitches, epilepsy and neuralgia.  Although called American Valerian, because of its calming properties, Lady's Slipper is less potent than Valerian, and the roots of several varieties of this plant (Cypripedium pubescens/ larger and Cypripedium parviflorum/ smaller) were included in the United States Pharmacopœia from 1863 to 1916.  Lady's Slipper is a complex resinoid substance and includes cypridenin.

Beneficial Uses:
Lady's Slipper is mainly used as a nervine, tonic and herbal anti-depressant that gently strengthens the functional activity of the nervous system.  As such, it has been used by generations to relieve hysteria, general nervousness, delirium tremens, tension, anxiety, nervous depression, irritability, recurring headaches and a relief for all stress.  Its relaxing qualities are also considered helpful for reducing hyperactivity in children.

As a mild sedative, Lady's Slipper is said to be effective in easing chronic insomnia and restlessness and is especially useful during those times when "the brain just won't shut off," and it allows sleep.  Lady's Slipper is considered superior because it is non-narcotic sedative.

Lady's Slipper is considered an antispasmodic and has been helpful for relieving cramps and muscle spasms and twitches.  With its additional ability to relieve nervous conditions, it has also been used in the past to ease epilepsy.

Lady's Slipper helps to relieve neuralgia, which is a severe, throbbing or stabbing pain along the course of a nerve.  It is also thought to be useful in relieving Bell's Palsy.

As a diaphoretic, Lady's Slipper is said to increase perspiration, which ultimately cools the body and eases intermittent fevers.

Contraindications:
Pregnant and nursing women should not use Lady's Slipper Herbal Supplement without first consulting with their health care providers.  Overuse (many times the recommended dose) may cause hallucinations.  Handling the plant may cause an allergic reaction.

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