Mayapple Root Profile
Also known as
Podophyllum peltatum, wild mandrake, American mandrake
Mayapple is of a different species than European mandrake, but a lot of the same fears have been attributed to it by early settlers that are not true. Mayapple is a relative of barberry and goldenseal found in the eastern half of North America. Plants grow 6 to 18 inches (15 to 40 cm) tall in patches, producing a single stalk capped with an "umbrella" of one or two deeply indented leaves. They grow in perennial patches or colonies all arising from a single shared stem. There may be thousands of plants in the colony, sometimes resembling a miniature forest. The colony itself must be at least 12 years old to begin to flower. As these colonies grow quite slowly, it is possible that larger ones may be well over 100 years old. The plant blooms with a single small white flower that produces a single yellow, mushy berry, the only part of the plant that can be eaten safely in moderation. The berry has been known to be made into jams and jellies, although the seeds and rinds are poisonous in large doses.
At least 4% resin with podophyllotoxin, alpha-petalin, and beta-petalin.
The dried root.
For topical application only, usually in ointment or tincture.
Do not take internally. The treated skin surface must not be larger than 25 cm2 (approximately 3 inches by 3 inches). Be sure to protect skin adjacent to treated area. If administered medicinally, it is recommended to be done so by a qualified practitioner.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.