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Gelsemium sempervirens (Loganiaceae)

GELSEMIUM, YELLOW JASMINE, FALSE JASMINE, WILD WOODBINE

 

Also known as yellow jasmine, it is not actually a jasmine. The root is given externally by herbalists for facial pain and toothache but, as it is poisonous, it is used internally only in homeopathic doses.

 

Yellow jasmine was originally used for fevers by early North American settlers, but has come to be used mainly for facial neuralgia (nerve pain). A native of North America, it is very poisonous and in no way related to the scented European jasmines. Growing near water in rich, damp, lowland soils, this perennial climber has spear-shaped leaves and clusters of fragrant, trumpet-shaped, yellow flowers in early spring.

 

PARTS USED

Root and rhizome.

 

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS

Alkaloids, including gelsemine, gelsemedine, and gelsedine; iridoids, including gelsemide; coumarins; tannins.

 

ACTIONS

Sedative; relieves pain; induces sweating; reduces muscle tension and spasm.

 

MEDICINAL USE

Used externally for facial neuralgia and toothache. The homeopathic remedy (Gelsemium) is given for dull headaches associated with fever, colds and catarrh, sore throats, tonsillitis, and flu.

 

PREPARATIONS

Tincture, homeopathic remedies.

 

CAUTION

Highly poisonous. Sale of the herb is restricted, and it should be used only under the guidance of a qualified practitioner.

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