Botanical: Stillingia sylvatica
Family: Euphorbiaceae (spurge)
Other common names: Queen's Delight, Marcory, Pavil, Queen's Root, Yaw Root, Silverleaf,
Stillingia Root is considered an excellent alterative herb that gradually converts an unhealthy condition into a healthy one and is thought to be especially effective for the lymphatic system. It has been used in herbal medicine to rid the body of toxins and cleanse and purify the blood, as well as relieve bronchial complaints. Its astringent qualities have made it useful in alleviating painful hemorrhoids.
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Stillingia Root is a hardy perennial evergreen or deciduous shrub that is native to large portions of the southern United States and also ranges in other warm and tropical parts of the Americas, thriving in pine barrens and other dry, acid, sandy soils in sun or partial shade. The plant bears leathery, three-inch, fine-toothed leaves and yellow-green flowers that may bloom all year in the warmer climates, and the entire plant grows to a height of about four feet. It was once a very popular home medicine with the early settlers in the southern regions of the United States as an herbal laxative, emetic (to induce vomiting), expectorant (encouraging the expulsion of phlegm), blood purifier and a cure for syphilis (which has since been disproven). In fact, in 1828, Dr. T. Y. Symons published his research on the subject, claiming it to be an effective cure for syphilis (toxic mercury had previously been used), and after meeting with the medical community's approval, it was listed in the United States Pharmacopœia. In the nineteenth century, the Eclectic physicians who attempted to combine what was effective in conventional medical treatments with what was beneficial in herbal medicine, used Stillingia Root to treat cancer and tuberculosis. Herbalists also continued to value Stillingia's properties as a laxative and emetic, and modern herbalists recommend it as a purifier for the blood (in combination with other herbs), a means to cleanse toxins from the system and as an effective alterative herb. The herb was included in the highly controversial Hoxey Formula that was used to heal external cancers, and although there is great research into this claim, there is no clinical proof to confirm its efficacy, and its use is not sanctioned by the convential medical community. Stillingia Root is a bitter, acrid, tonic herb with an unpleasant odor, and the dried roots are used in herbal medicine. Some of the chemical constituents in Stillingia include volatile oil, acrid resin (sylvacrol), acrid fixed oil, terpenoids (Stillingia factors S1-S8), diterpene esters (phorbol, ingenane, daphnane), stillingine, tannins, calcium oxalate, cyanogenic glycosides and starch.
Stillingia Root is said to be an effective "alterative," an herb that gradually converts an unhealthy condition into a healthy state and facilitates a beneficial change in the body, and it is specifically indicated where there is lymphatic involvement. Alteratives frequently achieve favorable results by stimulating the efficient removal of waste products and helping to clear toxins from the body.
As a laxative, Stillingia has been used to alleviate constipation and should be used in small doses; otherwise, it will produce a cathartic effect (the rapid evacuation of the bowel and not recommended).
Stillingia is said to relieve bronchial congestion and laryngitis (especially when accompanied by the loss of voice). It is considered a powerfully stimulating expectorant that helps to bring up and expel phlegm from the lungs and relieve a dry, hacking cough as well as croup and laryngismus stridulus, a sudden laryngeal spasm, sometimes referred to as spasmodic croup or false croup). It is also considered a sialagogue, or agent that stimulates the production of saliva.
Combined with other depurative herbs, which cleanse the blood by promoting eliminative functions (particularly Prickly Ash), Stillingia Root is considered a blood-purifying tonic, and with its additional diaphoretic properties, it promotes sweat, which helps to clear and remove toxins from the body through the skin. It is also believed to be effective in helping to rid the system of the toxic drugs used in chemotherapy treatments.
Stillingia is believed to be of great value in the treatment of chronic, exudative skin complaints, such as eczema and psoriasis and is also thought to improve acne conditions.
As an astringent, the tannins in Stillingia Root are thought to be particularly helpful in relieving the discomforts of painful hemorrhoids.
Pregnant and nursing women should not use this herb. Stillingia Root is best when combined with other herbs and should be used only under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider. Since the herb may be highly irritating to mucous membranes, great caution should be exercised with its use. Excess use may cause diarrhea and vomiting. Stillingia should not be stored more than two years.