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erbal Medicine Materia Medica


© David L. Hoffmann BSc (Hons), MNIMH

Euonymus atropurpureus

Part Used: Root bark.


  • Cardenolides based on digitoxigenin
  • Alkaloids such as asparagine & atropurpurine
  • Sterols; euonysterol, atropurpurol, homoeuonysterol
Actions: Cholagogue, hepatic, laxative, diuretic, circulatory stimulant.

Indications: Wahoo is one of the primary liver herbs. It acts to remove congestion from the liver, allowing the free flow of bile and so helping the digestive process It may be used in the treatment of jaundice and gall-bladder problems such as inflammation and pain or congestion due to stones. It will relieve constipation where this is due to liver or gall-bladder problems. Through its normalizing action upon the liver it may help in a range of skin problems where there is a possible involvement of the liver.

Ellingwood considered it specific for "indigestion with biliousness, constipation, chronic intermittents with cachexia, pulmonaryphthisis with night sweats and great weakness; dropsical affections following acute disease; in convalescence from severe intermittent fever; enlargement of the liver; chronic bronchitis." In addition he recommends it for the following pathologies: malarial cachexia, as a nutritive tonic, as a hepatic stimulant, chronic pulmonary complaints.

Preparations & Dosage: Decoction: pour a cup of water onto l/2-l teaspoonful of the bark. Bring to the boil and let infuse for l0-l5 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day. Tincture: take l-2 ml of the tincture three times a day.

About The Author
Whilst working in conservation and lecturing in ecology and the eco-crisis for the University of Wales, David Hoffman became convinced that to heal the world, to embrace planetary......more
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