Health Benefits of Coral Root

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Coral Root Quick Facts
Name: Coral Root
Scientific Name: Corallorhiza odontorhiza
Origin United States, found from Maine to Florida, and in Canada
Shapes Large oblong capsule
Taste Mucilaginous slightly bitter, astringent
This singular, leafless plant has a collection of small, fleshy tubers as roots; the stalk is coral-like, of pale yellow colour, with a covering of sort of sticky wool and scales, answering for leaves. An ovary is greenish to yellow and about ¼ inch long.The flowers, from ten to twenty, are of a brownish-green colour in bloom from July to October, and the fruit is a large oblong capsule. Resembles Beechdrops, growing from 10–20 in. high, and depends on roots of trees and the rich soil of the woods for survival, as does Beechdrops. The root is small, dark brown, resembling cloves, or a hen’s claw; has a strong nitrous smell, and mucilaginous slightly bitter, astringent taste. Stems are yellow to brown and bulbous at the base. Typically flowers are reddish purple with white lip and the lip has small purple spots.

Facts About Coral Root

Name Coral Root
Scientific Name Corallorhiza odontorhiza
Native United States, found from Maine to Florida, and in Canada
Common/English Name Dragon’s Claw, Coral Root, Chickentoe, Autumn Coralroot, Fall coral-root, Small-flowered coral-root, Chickentoes, Crawley, Crawley root, Fever root, Coral, Scaly dragon’s claw and Turkey claw
Name in Other Languages English: Autumn coralroot, Late coralroot
Plant Size 10 to 30 centimeters
Root Small, dark brown
Flowering Season August to October
Flower Brownish-green
Fruit shape & size Large oblong capsule
Fruit Taste Mucilaginous slightly bitter, astringent
Medicinal part Root

The plant is a native of the United States, found from Maine to Florida, and in Canada. The entire plant is destitute of verdure. The Herbalist, J. E. Meyers, says the entire plant is used for medical purposes. Its scarcity and high price have prevented its general use.

Medicinal uses

  • It is effective for nightsweats, cramps acute erysipelas and hectic fevers.
  • It promotes perspiration without producing excitement in the system. So it is effective for typhus fever, pleurisy and inflammatory diseases.
  • It has diaphoretic, sedative, tonic and febrifuge properties without making the patient weaken.
  • Use the plant infusion as a lotion for treating ringworm and skin diseases.
  • The plant infusion is used for treating colds.
  • Stalk decoction is used to build up the blood of people with pneumonia.


Crawley is recognized as the most powerful, prompt and certain diaphoretic in the “Materia Medica”; its chief value is as a diaphoretic in fevers, especially in typhus and inflammatory low stages of diseases, and may be relied upon in all cases to bring on free perspiration without increasing the heat of the system, or accelerated action of the heart. It has proven effective in acute erysipelas, cramps, flatulence, pleurisy, and night sweats, it relieves hectic fever without debilitating the patient. Combined with Leptandra virginica (Black root) or Podophyllum peltatum (Mandrake) when it is found necessary to act upon the bowels or liver, and mixed with Dioscorea (Wild yam root) it will be found almost a specific in flatulent and bilious colic. Combined with Caulophyllum (Blue cohosh) it forms an excellent agent in amenorrhoea and dysmenorrhoea or scanty or painful menstruation and is unsurpassed in after-pains, suppression of Lochia, and the febrile symptoms which sometimes occur at the parturient period.

From 20–30 grains of the powdered root given in water as warm as the patient can drink (when in bad) and repeated every 1½–2 hr., according to circumstances.

Steep 1 teaspoonful of the root in 1 cup of boiling water for ½ hr. When cold (if ambulent) drink 1 or 2 cupfuls a day a good mouthful at a time. Crawley is recognized as the fever powder by some practitioners; should be kept well closed, away from light.


  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding women should not use Coral root.
  • Seek for immediate medical attention if experienced side effects.






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