American Twinleaf American Twinleaf
Jeffersonia diphylla (L.) Pers. (Berberidaceae)

Common Names
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.

Flowering Period
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.

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