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Table 4.

Ethnobotanical uses of plants in the United States (Dweck, 1997; Hoareau & DaSilva, 1999).

Scientific NamePopular Name(s)UsesMedicinal Properties/Chemicals
Eupatorium perfoliatum Boneset Used by American Indians as a laxative and tonic Contains volatile oil, tannic acid, and eupatorin 
Podophyllum peltatum Mayapple, Indian apple, umbrella plant Used to treat gastrointestinal disorders, rheumatism, and intestinal worms Podophyllin resin 
Panax quinquefolium Ginseng Used to boost the immune system and relieve stress Ginsenosides and protopanaxadiol; commercially available for relief of colds and flu 
Thuja occidentalis Thuja, cedarwood Once used for treatment of psoriasis, rheumatism, and warts; American Indians made a tea of the bark to promote menstruation and to relieve headache Contains high concentration of vitamin C, and essential oil that is used as a disinfectant 
Echinacea angustifolia American coneflower, Kansas snakeroot, hedgehog Used to prevent inflammation (antiseptic), to relieve pain (analgesic), and to boost the immune system; the Omaha-Ponca used the root for toothaches and to treat snake bites; in recent times used to fight colds and flu Echinacin extract has been found to have antifungal activity 
Sanguinaria canadensis Indian paint, red root, sweet slumber Used to treat ringworm, fungal infections, ulcers, and skin diseases Alkaloids such as sanguinarine, protopine, cholerythrine; and chelidonic acid 
Simmondsia chinensis Jojoba The Apache Indians used it for healing wounds Recent research has indicated that the oil is anti-inflammatory 
Grindelia robusta Gum plant California Indians used the plant to purify blood; today it is used for treating dermatitis Cerotic acid, phenolic substances, tannins 
Helianthus annuus Sunflower The oil is used to treat psoriasis, relieves the pain of arthritis, and is used on bruises Triglycerides of linoleic acid (fatty acid needed for good skin condition) 
Scientific NamePopular Name(s)UsesMedicinal Properties/Chemicals
Eupatorium perfoliatum Boneset Used by American Indians as a laxative and tonic Contains volatile oil, tannic acid, and eupatorin 
Podophyllum peltatum Mayapple, Indian apple, umbrella plant Used to treat gastrointestinal disorders, rheumatism, and intestinal worms Podophyllin resin 
Panax quinquefolium Ginseng Used to boost the immune system and relieve stress Ginsenosides and protopanaxadiol; commercially available for relief of colds and flu 
Thuja occidentalis Thuja, cedarwood Once used for treatment of psoriasis, rheumatism, and warts; American Indians made a tea of the bark to promote menstruation and to relieve headache Contains high concentration of vitamin C, and essential oil that is used as a disinfectant 
Echinacea angustifolia American coneflower, Kansas snakeroot, hedgehog Used to prevent inflammation (antiseptic), to relieve pain (analgesic), and to boost the immune system; the Omaha-Ponca used the root for toothaches and to treat snake bites; in recent times used to fight colds and flu Echinacin extract has been found to have antifungal activity 
Sanguinaria canadensis Indian paint, red root, sweet slumber Used to treat ringworm, fungal infections, ulcers, and skin diseases Alkaloids such as sanguinarine, protopine, cholerythrine; and chelidonic acid 
Simmondsia chinensis Jojoba The Apache Indians used it for healing wounds Recent research has indicated that the oil is anti-inflammatory 
Grindelia robusta Gum plant California Indians used the plant to purify blood; today it is used for treating dermatitis Cerotic acid, phenolic substances, tannins 
Helianthus annuus Sunflower The oil is used to treat psoriasis, relieves the pain of arthritis, and is used on bruises Triglycerides of linoleic acid (fatty acid needed for good skin condition) 
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