American twinleaf, ground squirrel pea, helmet pod, rheumatism root, twinleaf, yellow root.
An erect shrub that grows to 2 feet. Stalk is topped by 2 identical, opposite, half-ovate leaf segments. Flowers are white, 1 inch across. Fruit is a large capsule.
March to April.
Rich, damp, shaded woods.
Root in fall.
The rhizomes and roots have been used to treat chronic rheumatism, dropsy, spasms, and as a gargle. In small doses, the drug is an expectorant; in large doses it is an emetic. It also has been considered a diuretic, alterative, and antispasmodic.