What is Collinsonia Root?
Collinsonia also known as stone-root and horsebalm is a perennial herb which grows between 2 and 4 feet in height flowering between July and September.
It is found in damp and shady woodland areas in North America all the way from Canada down to Florida. The roots and the rhizomes are the parts of the herb usually used to make medicinal supplements.
Collinsonia root has been historically employed to improve circulation, treat congestion and improve digestion. These days it is considered very effective in treating a range of conditions related to poor circulation including hemorrhoids and varicose veins.
Much of the evidence and research conducted into the medicinal uses of collinsonia root dates back to the late 19th century and there is little in the way of modern research to confirm its medicinal properties.
However, it is believed to possess tonic, diuretic, sedative and astringent properties as well as being a natural antioxidant which give this herb a decent range of medicinal benefits.
Collinsonia Root Benefits
1) Collinsonia for Hemorrhoids and Varicose Veins
One of the most popular uses of collinsonia root is to improve circulatory conditions such as relieving the pain of hemorrhoids and preventing varicose veins. Proponents of the herb say it works by decreasing the pressure in engorged veins which reduces inflammation and also helps to protect against varicose veins.
Basically, collisonia root helps promote improved blood flow by alleviating the contraction of blood vessels, strengthening the walls of the veins and reducing blood pooling.
These effects can also help people with other symptoms of poor circulation. Many people with circulatory issues can feel cold even when the surrounding temperatures are high and because it improves your circulation collinsonia may help people to feel warmer and reduce their chills.
2) A Natural Antioxidant
We have become more aware in recent years of the importance of getting enough antioxidants into our systems to counteract the damage done to our cells by environmental free radicals. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural sources of antioxidants to be found in nature and collinsonia root is one of them.
This herb possesses potent antioxidant properties which it derives from its tannin and saponins content. These beneficial compounds have a far reaching impact on your overall health and can protect against diseases caused by oxidative stress. As well as protecting against disease, natural antioxidants like collinsonia can improve the appearance off your skin and slow down the inevitable process of aging.
3) A Sore Throat Remedy
The use of collinsonia root as a remedy for various throat complaints dates way back to the 19th Century when it was commonly prescribed by practitioners for a condition which used to be known as ‘minister’s throat’.
The condition was observed in people who frequently spoke or strained their voice for extended periods. Minister’s throat typically resulted in problems with the throat or vocal cords including pain, coughing and problems speaking.
Anecdotal evidence tells us that those who were given collinsonia experienced immediate relief. These days, collinsonia root is still used to treat sore throats and can be prepared as a gargle for the purpose.
4) For the Digestive System
There is no scientific evidence that collinsonia root can improve digestion and I am relying on anecdotal evidence of its use.
Despite the lack of evidence, many people claim that the herb is able to relieve a variety of conditions related to digestion including heartburn, indigestion, constipation, flatulence and diarrhea. Its beneficial effects on the digestive system may be related to its known ability to improve circulation.
There are also reports that athletes find the herb useful to regain their energy following an intense period of exercise.
5) For Stress and Anxiety
Like many herbal supplements, collinsonia root may help some people to overcome feelings of stress and anxiety and increase feelings of overall wellbeing. Some users have reported that the herb improves female libido and gives them more energy.
The effects of herbal supplements when it comes to emotional wellbeing depends on a number of factors including the severity of your condition. The effects will also vary from person to person and there is absolutely no guarantee that any one herbal remedy will work for you.
Having said that, there are very few if any side effects associated with collinsonia root especially when compared to powerful anti-anxiety drugs so it would not be much of a risk to give it a try.
A recent study carried out by a Dr. Thiel a Californian health practitioner used collinsonia root as one of the herbal ingredients in a preparation given to the participants.
100% of the participants reported that their feelings of panic had eased while 91% of the subjects reported an improvement in feelings of anxiety or nervousness. Moreover, an impressive 97% of the group experienced an improvement when it came to overall wellbeing. (1)
6) For the Kidney and Urinary Tract Infections
Collinsonia root has diuretic properties meaning that it can stimulate the production of urine and the regularity of urination. It is used to treat a variety of problems associated with the urinary tract including bladder inflammation and pain and kidney stones. It can also help eliminate the build-up of toxic uric acid and alleviate water retention.
Other uses of Collinsonia Root
As well as being beneficial when taken internally, collinsonia root can also be applied topically. People use it as a poultice to relieve painful joints, bruising, muscle pain and sprains.
The flowers of the plant are sometimes used to tackle body odor and relieve headache. When it is taken internally in capsule or tea form, it might also help relieve headaches and cramping.
How to Use Collinsonia Root
Collinsonia root is available in several different forms including capsules, tinctures, liquid extract and tea. There are no absolute guidelines regarding dosage and you should pay attention to the guidelines on the package.
A typical oral dose of collinsonia root when taken in capsule form is between 1 and 4 grams each day.
If you choose to use it in tea form, the recommended amount is 3 cups a day. You can buy ready-made collinsonia tea bags or in dried root form to make your own tea.
To make a cup of tea with the dried root, simply simmer between 2 and 4 grams of the root in 150 ml of water for up to 10 minutes then strain it and drink up.
Collinsonia Root Side Effects
Collinsonia root is generally considered to be a safe supplement for most healthy adults when taken according to the directions. However taking very large doses of collinsonia long term might cause certain adverse side effects including nausea, dizziness, stomach pain and pain when urinating.
Pregnant women should avoid taking collinsonia root until more is known about its effects on the unborn child and the same applies to nursing mothers.
According to WebMD collinsonia root may interact with certain medications.
Because of its diuretic properties, collinsonia root may interfere with the manner in which the body eliminates lithium. This may result in an increase of lithium in the body and lead to severe side effects.
Diuretics or water pills
Because collinsonia works in a similar way to diuretics, taking the supplement at the same time as prescription diuretics may cause the body to eliminate potassium as well as water. This could result in a major decrease in the body’s potassium levels.