Health Benefits of Jack in the pulpit

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Jack in the pulpit Quick Facts
Name: Jack in the pulpit
Scientific Name: Arisaema triphyllum
Origin Eastern North America, occurring in moist woodlands and thickets from Nova Scotia west to Minnesota, and south to southern Florida and Texas.
Colors Shiny green
Shapes 1 cm wide berries
Jack in the pulpit is a native plant which belongs to Arum family Arisaema triphyllum grows on different parts. Leaves grow on one stalk and blossom grows on another. Stalks grow to the same height of 1-3 feet. Leaves are trifoliate with three leaves which grows together at the top of one lone stem which forms from a corm. Each leaflet is 8-15 cm long and 3-7 cm broad. Blossoms are green and there are brown stripes on inside of the pulpit. Inflorescences are irregularly shaped and grows to the length of 8 cm. It is greenish-yellow or fully green with purple or brownish stripes. Flowers are unisexual or sequential hermaphrodites. It is pollinated by fungus gnats which is attracted by smell and are trapped by flower. They could escape from the male inflorescences. Leaves are glossy and berries follow flowers in late summer. Fruits are shiny green and smooth berries about 1 cm wide which are clustered on thickened spadix. Fruits ripen in late summer and fall turning a bright red color before the plants go dormat. The berries have 1 to 5 seeds which are white to light tan in color, rounded and often with flattened edges and short sharp point at the top and rounded bottom surface. It is known as Indian turnip because Native Americans cook and consume its bulbous roots which are regarded as delicacy.

Facts of Jack in the pulpit

Name Jack in the pulpit
Scientific Name Scientific Name
Native Eastern North America, occurring in moist woodlands and thickets from Nova Scotia west to Minnesota, and south to southern Florida and Texas.
Common/English Name Dragonroot, Jack In The Pulpit, Indian Turnip, Bog onion, American wake robin, Brown dragon, Wild turnip, Indian turnip, Indian onion, Marsh turnip, Swamp turnip, Meadow turnip, Pepper turnip, Wild pepper, Bog onion, Arum, American arum, Wake robin, Dragon root, Aronknolle
Name in Other Languages English: Indian-turnip, Jack in the pulpit, Jack-in-the-pulpit, Indian Jack-in-the-pulpit, Indian turnip;
German: Dreiblättriger Feuerkolben;
French: Petit prêcheur, Arisème petit-prêcheur, Ariséma rouge-foncé, Gouet;
Plant Growth Habit Herbaceous perennial plant
Plant Size 30–65 centimetres (12–26 in) in height
Fruit shape & size 1 cm wide berries
Fruit color Shiny green
Seed White to light tan
Fruit Season Late summer and fall


Flowers on the club like spadix within hood are grouped atthe base of spadix. The spath or hood is 4-7 inches long which is striped with pinkish purple, brown and green. Fruit forms in clusters on stalk separate from the plant berries which are small and red that is edible.

Culinary uses

  • Roots are boiled, sliced and dried for months and consumed like potato chips, crumbled into cereals or ground into flour for making biscuits, cakes and breads.
  • Tubers are dried and cooked before consumption.
  • Pound it into powder.

Medicinal uses

  • The plant is used by Cherokees to treat headache, skin diseases, snake bites, joint aches, open sores and muscle pain.
  • Use it for treating tetterworm, ringworm, boils and open sores.
  • Tea prepared from Jack in the pulpit is used as stimulant, diaphoretic, expectorant and halt colds and coughs.
  • Chippewa use it to provide relief from sore eyes.
  • Apply the root as a poultice on headaches, rheumatism, scrofulous sores, ringworm and abscesses.
  • Root decoction is used as a wash for sore eyes.
  • Native American Indians use the root as contraceptive. 1 teaspoonful of dried powdered root in cold water helps to prevent conception for a week and 2 teaspoonfuls in hot water helps to induce permanent sterility.


  • It causes the symptoms such as burning in mouth and throat, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, slurred speech, teary eyes, blistering and swelling in the mouth.
  • Too much internal usage causes throat to swell leading to choking and suffocation.
  • It should not be consumed raw.






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