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Product Description

Turtlehead, Balmony, Bitter Herb, Codhead, Fish Mouth, Shellflower, Snakehead, Snake Mouth, Turtlebloom

Chelone from the Greek for tortoise and glabra from the Latin word meaning smooth, referring to lack of hairs or texture on the stems and leaves.

White Turtlehead is found throughout the Tallgrass region along streams, in fens and in seeps. It also will establish itself in woodland bottomlands. Turtlehead blooms from August through September and grows from a creeping perennial rootstock to a height of three feet under ideal conditions.

Even though it has a very bitter taste, Turtlehead providided Native Americans a favorite tonic and laxative. Early settlers used the leaves to make a tonic to aid in curing jaundice, constipation and internal parasites. The leaves were also made into a salve to relieve itching and inflammation.

Sun Exposure               Prairie
Soil Moisture Wet, Wet Mesic,
Bloom Time

Summer, Fall
July, August, September

Bloom Color Cream
Max Height 5 feet
Wetland Code OBL
Germ Code  C(120) or M
Seeds Per Packet  300
Seeds Per Ounce   92,000


Edible Uses: Unknown

Medicinal Uses: Balmony is a very bitter herb with a tea-like flavour that acts mainly as a tonic for the liver and digestive system. It has long been held in esteem in N. American folk medicine, though it has never been investigated scientifically. The herb also has anti-depressant and laxative effects. A decoction of the whole herb is antibilious, aperient, appetizer, cathartic, cholagogue, detergent, tonic, vermifuge. It is used internally in the treatment of consumption, debility, diseases of the liver, gallbladder problems, gallstones etc. It is also used to relieve nausea and vomiting, intestinal colic and to expel worms. Its tonic effect upon the digestive system has made it of benefit in the treatment of anorexia nervosa. Externally, it is applied as a soothing ointment to piles, inflamed tumours, irritable ulcers, inflamed breasts etc. The plant is harvested when in flower and is dried for later use.

Herbal Uses:  See Micidinal

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