Culver's root - Leptandra virginica (in the Scrophulariaceae or Figwort family)
Parts used: Root.
Taste/smell: Bitter, slightly acrid.
Dosage: Decoction: 1 teaspoon per cup of water; or 1:5 dry strength liquid extract: 1-20 drops 1-3 times per day.
Use: (a) Cholagogue, (b) Mild laxative, (c) Cathartic, (d) Antiseptic, (e) Relaxing hepatic.
Culver's root is used for liver congestion and sluggishness, non-obstructive jaundice, hepatitis, cholecystitis and rectal prolapse or hemorrhoids.
Contraindications: It is contraindicated in pregnancy due to the teratogenic effect and abortifacient activity if used fresh. It is also contraindicated in acute gallstone attacks or bile duct obstruction. The fresh root is violently cathartic.