- Family Liliaceae
- Aletris farinosa
- True Unicorn Root, Colic-root, Aletris, Starwort, Blazing Star, Ague-root, Aloe-root, Ague Grass, Black-root, Bitter Grass, Crow Corn, Bettie Grass, Devil’s Bit, True Unicorn Star-grass, True Unicorn Root
- Use only under professional guidance.
- The dried, and especially the fresh, rhizome can be toxic in overdose, causing colic, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Native to eastern North America, star grass is a perennial, growing to about three feet, producing a flowering stem, smooth lance-shaped leaves, and white, bell-shaped flowers that appear to be covered with frost. The herb grows mainly in swamps and wet, sandy woodlands, especially near the seashore. It is harvested commercially in Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina. It has a sweet taste becoming bitter and soapy.
The Catawaba peoples used a cold-water infusion for stomachaches and gave a remedy for snakebite.
- increases motility
- estrogenic effect
- steroidal saponins (based on diosgenin)
- bitter principle
- volatile oil
- Rhizome, leaves
It is used mainly for gynecological reasons, particularly during menopause, but also given for menstrual pain, irregular periods, and prolapsed uterus. Some believe that it prevents threatened miscarriages.
It is a good digestive herb proving beneficial in treating an appetite loss, indigestion, flatulence, and bloating.
It has also been used to treat rheumatism.
In Argentina, it is used to treat chronic bronchitis.