- Celastrus scandens L.
- Celastrus orbiculatus
- Staff tree family
Parts Usually Used
Bark of root
Description of Plant(s) and
Climbing, twining shrub; grows to 50 feet. Leaves ovate to oblong, sharp pointed, fine-toothed. Flowers greenish, in clusters, May to June. Fruit capsule scarlet to orange, splitting, to reveal scarlet seeds.
Rich thickets from Quebec to Georgia; Alabama, Oklahoma to North Dakota.
Root-bark tea induces sweating; diuretic, emetic. Folk remedy for chronic liver and skin ailments, rheumatism, leukorrhea, suppressed menses. Externally; bark used in ointment for burns, scrapes, skin eruptions. American Indians used this plant as above, also used astringent leaf tea for diarrhea, dysentery. Root-bark tea is used for pain of childbirth. Bark extracts thought to be cardioactive.
Fruits are toxic. All parts potentially toxic.
This herb should not be used without medical supervision.