Red Baneberry (Actaea rubra)

Perennial
A. arguta. Nutt.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Red Baneberry
Actaea rubra
Ranunculaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    The whole plant, but especially the root, is analgesic, antirheumatic, galactogogue and rubefacient[172, 257]. The plant was often used medicinally by North American Indian tribes, though modern users should be aware of the plants potential toxicity. A tea made from the root is used as an appetizer, in the treatment of stomach pains, coughs, colds, menstrual irregularities, post partum pains, to increase milk flow and as a purgative after childbirth[222, 257].

    Great caution should be employed if using this plant internally, the rootstock is a violent purgative, irritant and emetic[212].

  • Edible Use

    None known

  • Cautionary Notes

    All parts of the plant are toxic[172], apparently acting upon the heart[212].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame or outdoors in a moist shaded seedbed[200]. The seed has a limited viability[200], it can also be sown in spring in a cold frame but germination rates may be poor. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer of the following year. Division in March or October.
Tolerates most conditions[233], but prefers a humus-rich moist soil in light shade[200, 233] doing well amongst shrubs and in light woods[1]. Also succeeds in denser shade[187]. Plants are hardy to at least -20¡c[187]. A very ornamental plant[1]. Actaea rubra is part of a circumboreal complex and is very similar to the black-fruited European species A . spicata (L.) with which it is sometimes considered conspecific[270]. The western North American plants of A . rubra have been called A . arguta and were distinguished on the basis of their smaller berries, more pubescent leaves, and narrow, more dissected leaflets. Those distinctions, however, are weak; specimens from the West often have fruits and leaves similar to those of plants from the East[270]. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes[54].
N. America – Alaska to California and eastwards to Newfoundland and Philadelphia.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.