Squaw Vine

Medical Herbs Catalogue


Squaw Vine

Botanical Name: Mitchella repens (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Rubiaceae

Synonyms: Partridgeberry. Checkerberry. Winter Clover. Deerberry. One-berry.
Part Used: Herb.
Habitat: United States.

Description: The plant grows in dry woods, among hemlock timber, and in swampy places; in flower in June and July. The leaves resemble those of clover and remain green throughout the winter. The fruit or berry also remains bright scarlet, is edible, and nearly tasteless, dry, and full of stony seeds. The use of the drug is peculiarly American.

Constituents: It has been found to contain resin, wax, mucilage, dextrin, and what appears to be saponin.

Medicinal Action and Uses: Parturient, diuretic, tonic, astringent. Beneficial in all uterine complaints. It resembles in its action pipsissewa (Chimaphila), for which it is often substituted. It is taken by Indian women for weeks before confinement, in order to render parturition safe and easy. A herbal physician should be consulted for a safe and effectual preparation.

It is used in dropsy, suppression of urine, and diarrhoea. The following preparation is a cure for sore nipples: 2 OZ. of the herb (fresh, if possible), 1 pint of water. Make a strong decoction, strain, and add an equal quantity of good cream. Boil the whole down to the consistency of a soft salve, and when cool, anoint the nipple every time the child is removed from the breast.

Dosages: Of a strong decoction, 2 to 4 fluid ounces, two or three times a day. Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm.