Aletris farinose


Millsbaugh, C. F. (2010). Alertris farimosa/colicroot; unicorn root. Retrieved from:

Botanical Name: Aletris farinose
Common name: Unicorn root, true unicorn root.
Family: Liliaceae (Natural Standard, 2014)
Parts used: rhizome and root (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 238)

History/Folklore: Native to North America, Aletris farinose is unsustainable du to habitiat destruction and is considered to be endangered. Clinical trials are lacking (Natural Standard, 2014). The fresh root has been traditionally used as a narcotic, emetic and catharic, however the dried root is more commonly traditionally used in digestive disorders and as a women’s tonic (Natural Standard, 2014).

Constituents: Bitter principal (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 238)


  • Bitter (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 238)
  • Anti-spasmodic (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 238)
  • Sedative (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 238)



  • Sluggish digestion (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 238)
  • Dyspepsia (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 238)
  • Flatulence (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 238)
  • Debility (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 238)
  • Anorexia (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 238)
  • Digestive colic (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 238)
  • Considered beneficial for habitual miscarriage due to chronic uterine weakness (Natural Standard, 2014)

Dosage & Preparation:

  • Decoction: 1-2tsp dried herb/tds
  • Tincture1-2mL/tds

(Hoffmann, 1990, p. 238)

Cautions & Contraindications

  • Pregnancy due to oestrogenic activity (Natural Standard, 2014)
  • May irritate inflammatory gastric conditions (Natural Standard, 2014)

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