Beth root - Trillium spp. (in the Liliaceae or Lily family)
Parts used: Bulb/rhizome
Taste/smell: Earthy smell and taste, slightly acrid.
Tendencies: Cooling, drying.
Dosage: Infusion: 1 teaspoon of the newly dried herb or 2 teaspoons of the fresh root per cup water 3-4 times per day; or 1:1 fresh plant liquid extract: 10-60 drops as necessary every 15 minutes, using up to but not exceeding a total of 360 drops or two teaspoons in a 24 hour period.
Mental picture and specifics: This is an herb for cramping pelvic pains that feel like the hips and back are falling to pieces. The pains are better with pressure around the pelvis. It is indicated for tenacious mucus discharge or uterine hemorrhage with great faintness and dizziness. All conditions are associated with poor pelvic tone.
Use: (a) Alterative, (b) Astringent, (c) Genito-urinary tract tonic, (d) Expectorant.
Beth root is used for conditions due to atonic pelvic organs such as uterine prolapse and menorrhagia due to atony. It is also useful in passive hemorrhage from fibroids and wasting disorders, especially disorders of the lungs and reproductive tract.
Beth root is used prior to labor to facilitate contractions and ensure an easier delivery. It will also decrease the occurrence and severity of post-partum hemorrhage. The whole plant was poulticed by the Native Americans and used externally for treatment of ulcers, tumors and generalized inflammatory skin conditions. This plant is becoming endangered and is protected in some states. Use it sparingly.
Contraindications: It is contraindicated in pregnancy, except as mentioned above prior to labor.