Health benefits of Threeleaf goldthread

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Threeleaf goldthread Quick Facts
Name: Threeleaf goldthread
Scientific Name: Coptis trifolia
Origin Northeastern United States and much of Canada
Colors Green to tan or light brown
Shapes Array of four to seven pods, each about 1/3 inch long
Taste Pure, bitter taste
Health benefits Beneficial for sore throats, acne, boils, carbuncles, burns, infected cuts, swollen gums, tongue ulcers, vomiting, diarrhea and bacterial dysentery
Threeleaf goldthread scientifically known as Coptis trifolia is a perennial plant belonging to the genus Coptis, and a member of the family Ranunculaceae. The plant is native to low places, dry woods or meadows in northern, western and middle regions of northeastern United States and much of Canada. The plant is listed as endangered in Maryland and classified as sensitive in Washington. It has been part of Asian and North American traditional medicine for hundreds of years. The roots of the plant look like a tangled mass of gold thread, hence its name. Herbal goldthread is actually the powdered rhizome, or underground stem, of the goldthread plant.

The common name refers to the yellow, thread-like underground roots. Goldthread, Queen of the Meadow, Joe-Pye Weed, Kidney Root, Trumpet Weed, Purple Boneset, Yellowroot, Vegetable Gold, Mouth-Root, Coptis, Yaller Root, Dye Root and Golden-Seal are some of the popular common names of the plant.  Another common name, Canker-root is derived from the fact that early settlers and Indians used this plant to treat mouth sores. The genus name Coptis comes from the Greek word meaning “to cut.” This is a reference to the divided leaves. The word “trifolio” means “having three leaves,” a reference to the number of leaflets. Goldthread is listed in some guide books as Coptis groenlandica – an earlier scientific name.

Threeleaf Goldthread Facts

Name Threeleaf goldthread
Scientific Name Coptis trifolia
Native Northeastern United States and much of Canada. The plant is listed as endangered in Maryland and classified as sensitive in Washington.
Common Names Goldthread, Queen of the Meadow, Joe-Pye Weed, Kidney Root, Trumpet Weed, Purple Boneset, Yellowroot, Vegetable Gold, Canker-Root, Mouth-Root, Coptis, Yaller Root, Dye Root and Golden-Seal
Name in Other Languages Arabic: Kubts taryfulia (كوبتس تريفوليا)
English: American goldthread, Canker-root, Goldthread, Threeleaf goldthread, Goldenroot, Savoyana, Three-leaved goldthread, Yellow snakeroot
French: Savoyane, Coptide du Groenland, Coptide savoyane, Sabouillane, Sibouillane
German: Dreiblättriger Goldfaden, Goldfaden
Japanese: Mitsuba-ô-ren (ミツバオウレン)
Pdc: Goldwatzel
Russian: Koptis trokhlistnyy (коптис трёхлистный)
Swedish: Polarkoptis
Plant Growth Habit Small low-growing, evergreen,  perennial
Growing Climates Wet to mesic, coniferous and mixed forests, bogs, willow scrub, and tundra
Plant Size 5–6 ft. tall
Stem Slender and hairless
Leaf Leaves are compound, divided into three scalloped leaflets
Flowering season May
Flower Solitary, small white flower on a long, slender, leafless stem. Each flower is ⅜ to ½ inch across and has four to seven petal-like sepals and many white stamens
Fruit Shape & Size Array of four to seven pods, each about 1/3 inch long
Fruit Color Green to tan or light brown
Taste Pure, bitter taste
Plant Parts Used Dried rhizome, with roots, stems, and leaves
Culinary Uses
  • Whole plant is said to be eaten, or it can be mixed with sassafras-root bark and Irish moss and brewed into a kind of herbal root beer.

Plant Description

Threeleaf goldthread is a small low-growing, perennial evergreen plant that normally grows about 5–6 ft. tall. The plant is found growing in wet to mesic, coniferous and mixed forests, bogs, willow scrub, and tundra. The plant has slender and hairless stem. The plant has attractive, glossy evergreen leaves that are 1-2 inches wide and appear at the end of a stem which is usually shorter than the flower stem. The leaves are compound, divided into three scalloped leaflets. The leaflets are fan-shaped, with small teeth around the tip end. Goldthread’s leaves uncoil every spring like a fern, as they replace the old evergreen leaves of the previous year.

Flower

Threeleaf Goldthread bears a solitary, small white flower on a long, slender, leafless stem. Each flower is ⅜ to ½ inch across and has four to seven petal-like sepals and many white stamens. The bright green styles are curled at the tip. The golden yellow club-shaped petals are shorter than the stamens and have a cup-shaped tip that holds nectar. Most plants have only one flowering stem. Flowering normally takes place from May.

Fruit

Fertile flowers are followed by an array of four to seven pods, each about 1/3 inches long. The capsule-like fruit changes from green to tan or light brown and splits open to expose the seeds.

Uses

The strong decoction of the root is esteemed almost an infallible remedy for gravel and accumulations of the associated bladder, kidney and the urinary system. To mention a few: dropsy, neuralgia, lumbago, gout, rheumatism and joint stiffness caused by uric acid deposits. It has also been recognized as being an agent for sterility, threatened abortion, as well as incontinence of urine. Queen of the meadow is also used in nerve fibres, which once destroyed can never be replaced.

Homoeopathic Clinical

Tincture of the root—Albuminuria, Calculi, Cystitis, Diabetes, Dropsy, Enuresis, Gravel, Headache, Home-sickness, Hysteria, Impotence, Indigestion, Intermittent fever, Renal colic, Rheumatism, Sciatica, Strangury, Throat (sore), Urine (retention of), Vomiting.

Traditional uses and benefits of Threeleaf goldthread

  • Goldenthread is a very bitter tasting herb that was formerly highly valued and widely used in North America by the native Indians and white settlers alike, though it is little used in modern herbalism.
  • It was used mainly to treat any soreness in the mouth.
  • Dried roots, stems and leaves are anti phlogistic, highly astringent, sedative, stomachic, tonic.
  • Plant is valued as a local application in the treatment of thrush in children.
  • It is also used in the treatment of ulcerated mouths and as a gargle for sore throats or mouths.
  • It is said to be useful in the treatment of dyspepsia and helpful in combating the drink habit.
  • The plant contains the alkaloid ‘berberine’, which is a mild sedative, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.
  • Rhizome and roots are said to have antibacterial properties.
  • They have also been used to heal sores of eyes, for thrush, as a tonic, and as a cure for alcoholism.
  • The plant was also used as a gargle for sore throats and made into a tea for use as eyewash.
  • It can protect against some types of harmful organisms and soothe irritated tissue.
  • It encourages normal lipid profiles and is even known to boost the immune system.
  • Berberine promotes heart health, bone and joint health, brain health, digestive health, liver health, and is beneficial for the respiratory system.
  • It is used for inflammations of mucous membranes in the mouth and around eyes.
  • It is used for treating alcoholism.
  • It is used for treating gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting, diarrhea and bacterial dysentery.
  • It is used for treating mouth sores such as canker sores, swollen gums and tongue ulcers.
  • On the skin it is used topically to treat acne, boils, carbuncles, burns, and infected cuts.

Other Facts

  • Yellow dye is obtained from the leaves and stems.
  • It can be grown as a ground cover plant in the peat garden.
  • The roots of this species have also been used to flavor beer.
  • Some Native American groups also used the roots as a yellow dye.

Precautions

  • It may cause headache, fatigue, high blood pressure.
  • Berberine can also lower blood glucose and should be used with caution in people taking diabetes medications.
  • Coptis trifolia can interact with the immunosuppressive drug cyclosporine used to prevent organ rejection and treat certain autoimmune diseases.
  • Coptis trifolia may speed the breakdown of cyclosporine and reduce the drug’s efficacy.
  • Coptis trifolia should be avoided if you are being treated with cyclosporine.

References:

https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=18767#null

https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Coptis+trifolia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coptis_trifolia

https://www.dnr.wa.gov/publications/amp_nh_cotr2.pdf?ko7ffe

https://practicalplants.org/wiki/Coptis_trifolia

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