Medicinal uses of Maryland Sanicle

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Maryland Sanicle Quick Facts
Name: Maryland Sanicle
Scientific Name: Sanicula marilandica
Shapes Oval, dry, with hooked, stout
Sanicle, of the Parsley family, is an indigenous perennial common to the United States and Canada. The fibrous root is aromatic in taste and odour, with a smooth reddish furrowed stem, 1–3 ft. high. The leaves are digitate, mostly radical and on petioles, 6–12 in. long, nearly 3 in. across, glossy green above, less colour underneath. Leaves have deep incised lobes radiating from the same point. Each leaf has no set number of leaflets 5 to 7. The plant is not that tall but fruiting stalk rises to 2 feet and bears green diminutive flowers in spring. The flowers bloom in June and July, and they are mostly barren white, sometimes yellowish, fertile ones sessile.


Small clusters (umbels) at the ends of branching stems, made up of 2 to 4 small round clusters (umbellets) about ½ inch across and consisting of 20 to 60 flowers each. Flowers are either male or perfect (both male and female parts), with both present in some umbellets and others all male. Flowers are greenish white with 5 petals longer than the sepals, and protruding stamens with greenish white tips that turn brown with age. Perfect flowers are nearly stalkless, have a small ovary covered in hooked bristles, and 2 long spreading styles that are much longer than the bristles. The styles persist and become arching as the flower matures.

Facts About Maryland Sanicle

Name Maryland Sanicle
Scientific Name Sanicula marilandica
Common/English Name Black Snakeroot, American Sanicle, Pool Root, Wood Sanicle,
Maryland sanicle, Maryland black snakeroot, Black sanicle, Butterwort
Name in Other Languages English: Maryland sanicle, Black snakeroot, Maryland black-snakeroot;

French: Sanicle du Maryland

Plant Growth Habit Plant Growth Habit
Plant Growth Habit 7.5 dm (29 in.)
Stem Solitary, erect 4-12 dm tall
Medicinal parts The root and leaves
Flowering Season June to mid August
Flower Ovoid schizocarp, 4-6 × 3-5 mm, compressed
Fruit shape & size Oval, dry, with hooked, stout

Leaves and stems

Leaves are basal and alternate on the stem, palmately compound having 5 or 7 leaflets or 5 leaflets with end pair deeply cleft. Leaflets measures 6 inches long to 2 inches wide, coarsely toothed or double toothed, hairless and wedge shaped at the base and usually widest above the middle. Basal and lower stem leaves are long stalked, stalkless or nearly so in the upper plant. Stems are hairless, erect and branched in the upper plant.


Fruit is dry, round to somewhat oval about 1/6 inch long covered in hooked bristles. Long arching style remains at the tip. The fruit is dry, round to somewhat oval, about 1/6 inch long and covered in hooked bristles. The long arching style remains at the tip. The fruit splits into 2 seeds.

Medicinal uses

  • Used by the Indians in intermittent fevers and for treating a variety of skin conditions.
  • The action upon the system very much resembles Valerian, possessing (besides the previously mentioned) nervine and anodyne properties.
  • It possesses powerful cleansing and healing virtues, both internally and externally.
  • It heals, stops bleeding, diminishes tumours, whether of a recent or long-standing nature.
  • The properties when administered seem to seek the ailment most in distress, be it of the throat, lungs, intestines or renal tract, reproductive organs.
  • Its qualifications are many as a cleansing and healing herb, both of man or animal.
  • For throat discomforts, gargle a strong tea with honey as often as necessary.
  • The fresh juice can be given in tablespoonful doses in treatment of dysentery, and strong decoction of the leaves made by boiling 1 oz. of the leaves in 1½ pints of water, reduced to 1 pint, can be taken constantly in wineglass doses till haemorrhage ceases.
  • Root acts as expectorant, nervine and astringent.
  • Tea made from thick root is used for treating menstrual irregularities, kidney ailments, pain, fevers and rheumatism.
  • Root decoction is used to cause vomiting to neutralize poison.
  • Root powder is also used for treating intermittent fever and chorea.
  • Apply the poultice made from roots for snakebites.


1 teaspoonful of the root or leaves, cut small or crushed, to 1 cupful of boiling water. Take 1 cupful ½ hr. before meals. If haemorrhaging, it is best to refrain from food until bleeding stops. Of the tincture, I5–30 drops. Of the powder, 1 dram.


For cutaneous or subcutaneous skin conditions, chapped hands or bleeding skin ulcerations use a fresh preparation daily for chronic conditions until they improve. Internally and externally, can be combined with other supporting herbs.

Homoeopathic Clinical

Amenorrhoea, Asthma, Bee stings, Boils (blind), Borborygmus, Coccyx (soreness of), Condylomata, Conjunctivitis, Constipation (of children), Cornea (ulceration of), Coryza, Cough, Dandruff, Debility, Diabetes, Diarrhoea, Digestion (slow), Dropsy (during pregnancy), Eczema, Emaciation, Enuresis, Excoriations, Foot sweat, Gastritis, Gum (suppressed), Itching, Leucorrhoea, Liver (soreness of), Lumbago, Melancholy, Milk (thin), Mouth (sore), Neuralgia, Neurasthenia, Night terrors, Nose (crusts in), Ophthalmia (tarsi), Os utteri (dilated), Ossification (too early), Ozaena, Perspiration (excessive), Potbellied children, Pregnancy (sickness af; dropsy of), Rectum (cramp in), Rheumatism, Rickets, Scurvy, Sea sickness, Shoulders (rheumatism of), Throat (sore), Tongue (ringworm of; burning), Toothache, Uterus (prolapse of; soreness of; tumour of), Vomiting (of milk; of water), Wrist (boils on).






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