Health Benefits of beech drops

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Beech drops Quick Facts
Name: Beech drops
Scientific Name: Epifagus virginiana
Colors Brown
Shapes Small, ¼ inches
A parasite of the family Orabanchaceae (broom-rape family). The name Cancer root is applied to several of the root parasites but more specifically to the Beechdrop or cancer drops of the beech tree roots. The low wiry plant has pale brown, dull red, or light brown stems usually marked with fine brown purple lines. The stem has leaf scales but no leaves. The root is scaly and tuberous. Altogether the taste is disagreeably astringent. The August and September flowers are white in the upper corolla, about 1 cm long, striped with brown-purple and are sterile; the less conspicuous lower flowers bear seeds.

Facts About Beech drops

Name Beech drops
Scientific Name Epifagus virginiana
Common/English Name Beech drops , beech-drops, beechdrops
Name in Other Languages English: Beechdrops, Virginia beechdrops;
French: Épifage de Virginie In
Plant Growth Habit Obligate parasitic plant
Soil Chalky and sandy
Plant Size 30 cm tall
Medicinal parts Tops, root, stems
Stem Pale brown, dull red, or light brown
Flowering Season Late summer/early fall
Flower Reddish, brown or yellowish, tubular, length 1.3 cm
Fruit shape & size Small, ¼ inches
Fruit color Brown

Plant description

Beech drops grows to the height of 5 inches to 18 inches. Branches are skinny and tubular with small scale like leaves which are flat pressed against stem. Flowers are tiny occurring singly or in spikes. Flowers are tubular and forms two lip like projections and produce nectar to attract winged pollinators. Flowers bloom from August to October and by the end of November, the plant turns dark brown and brittle. It is used for treating diarrhea, mouth sores, dysentery and externally on cold sores.

Medicinal uses

  • It is used for asthma and also helpful for obstinate ulcers of mouth or stomach and diarrhea.
  • Use it internally as stimulating expectorant in chronic bronchitis and apply it externally for various skin problems.
  • The tea made from fresh plant is used for dysentery, diarrhea, cold sores and mouth sores.
  • Apply the poultice or decoction for wounds, ulcers and gangrene.
  • Apply the cooled decoction in ulcers, skin disorders and erysipelas.
  • Use the tea as a wash.
  • The mixture of cherry bark and beech drops are used for treating hemorrhages of bowels.
  • In North America, it is used for treating health problems such as dysentery, diarrhea, mouth sores and cold sores.






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