Introduction of Senega Root:milkwort or mountain flax.

Popular Herbs. ✵The article gives records of the herb Senega Root, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Polygala senega L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Senega Root, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Senega Root(Milkwort).

Polygala senega:flowers English Name: Senega Root.
 Latin Name: Polygala senega L., and other closely related species cultivated in western Canada.
 Common Names: Milkwort, northern senega(Canada), rattlesnake root, Seneca, Senega Snakeroot, senega, Seneka, mountain flax.
 Property and flavor: warm, pungent, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The plant is native to the woodlands of eastern North America. It has lance-shaped leaves and clusters of small whitish-green to pinkish flowers topping upright stems. The twisted roots and rootstock are used medicinally once dried.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Senega Root as the dried root of the species (1).Polygala senega L. It is a plant species of the Polygala genus, the Polygalaceae family. The twisted roots and rootstock are used medicinally once dried. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Polygala senega L.

 Polygala senega:flowering plant Botanical description: The Polygala senega is a plant of the Polygalaceae family and Polygala genus, it is commonly known as "Polygala senega", "Seneca snakeroot, senega snakeroot, senega root, rattlesnake root, mountain flax.", or "Mei Yuan Zhi", perennial herb with multiple stems, it grows up to 50 centimeters tall. The stems are usually unbranched, but some old plants can have branching stems. A mature plant can have up to 70 stems growing from a hard, woody rootstock that spreads horizontally. The lance-shaped leaves are alternately arranged. The lower leaves are reduced and scale-like.

 The inflorescence is a spike of rounded white or greenish flowers. The fruit is a capsule containing two hairy black seeds. The root is twisted and conical, with a scent somewhat like wintergreen and a very pungent taste. There are two root Polymorphisms; a northern morph growing in Canada and toward Minnesota has larger roots up to 15 centimeters long and 1.2 wide which are dark brown and sometimes purplish toward the top, and a southern morph found in the southeastern USA (the United States of America) that has smaller, yellow-brown roots.

 Polygala senega:flowers Ecological environment: The plant Polygala senega is native to the woodlands of eastern North America, it grows on prairies and in woods and wet shorelines and riverbank habitats. It grows in thin, rocky, usually calcareous soils. It also occurs in disturbed habitats, such as roadsides. This species is native to North America, it distributes in the central and eastern areas of USA, southern Canada, etc.

 Characters of herbs: Seneca snakeroot is the dried root with remains of aerial stems of Polygala senega and or other closely related species or a mixture of Polygala species.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.expectorant effect; ②.anti-inflammatory properties, etc.

 Senega root has an expectorant effect, studies identified this action and attribute it to its components triterpenoid saponins, by irritating the stomach lining, they cause nausea and reflexively stimulate mucus production in the bronchial tubes and sweat glands, this, in turn, loosens sticky secretions in the respiratory tract, making them easier to cough up.

 Senega plant acid has anti-inflammatory properties.

 Medicinal efficacy: The herb senega root was used by North American tribes and applied the pulp to rattlesnake bites, traditionally it was also used for controlling respiratory tract congestion and treating asthma, bronchitis, and pleurisy, other respiratory ills. It is used for increasing salivation and promoting perspiration to reduce fever and induce vomiting and diarrhea by a large dose. Contemporary herbalists also use it for coughs, colds, asthma, and bronchitis. In Europe, the herb is approved for cough and bronchitis, congestion of the respiratory tract, as an expectorant in cases of bronchitis with minor sputum output.

 Administration of Senega Root (Milkwort): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Senega Root (Milkwort)
Herbal classic books: Dosage: A decoction is prepared using 0.5 grams of root per cup of water. The daily dosage is 1.5 to 3.0 grams of root or liquid extract. Daily doses of more than 3 grams are not recommended. To use the infusion as an expectorant, drink 1 cup of tea 2 to 3 times daily. In serious cases, the tea can be taken every two hours if the patient is observed for side effects.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: Overdosage of more than 3 grams a day will lead to nausea, stomach upset, diarrhea, gastric complaints, and queasiness. If you already have an irritated stomach or stomach ulcer, avoid this herb.

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