Life Root

Senecio aureus


Names: Squaw Weed, Golden Senecio.

Habitat: Europe and N. America.

Collection: The herb should be collected just before the small flowersopen in the summer.

Part Used: Dried aerial parts. Never use the fresh plant.


  • Pyrrolizidine alkaloids; florosenine, otosenine, floridanine

  • Eremophilane sesquiterpenes, such astrans-9-oxofuranoeremophilane-8 x-ethoxy- l0 x-H-eremophilane, caccalol.

Actions: Uterine tonic, diuretic, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, emmenagogue.

Indications: As a uterine tonic Life Root may be used safely where verstrengthening and aid are called for. It is especially useful in cases of menopausal disturbances of any kind. Where there is delayed or suppressed menstruation, Life Root may be used. For leucorrhoea it can be used as a douche. It also has a reputation as a general tonic for debilitated states and conditions such as tuberculosis.

King’s says that “Senecio is diuretic, pectoral, diaphoretic, tonic, and exerts a peculiar influence upon the reproductive organs, and particularly of the female, which has given to it, especially the S.gracilis, the name of Female regulator. This is one of our valuable remedies in the treatment of female diseases. It relieves irritation and strengthens functional activity. Ovarian or uterine atony, with impairment of function, increased mucous or mucopurulent secretions, or displacements of the womb and vaginal prolapse, are the chief guides to itsuse. It is very efficient in promoting the menstrual flow, and may be given alone, in infusion, or in combination, in amenorrhoea, not connectedwith some structural lesion. It will also be found valuable in dysmenorrhoea, sterility, and chlorosis. In menorrhagia, combined with cinnamon and raspberry leaves, it has been found very serviceable, when administered during the intermenstrual period, as well as at the time of ovulation. Tenesmic and painful micturition of both sexes is often relieved by it. Senecio is of value in many genital disorders of the male, the indications being pelvic weight and full, tardy, or difficult urination and sensation of dragging in the testicles. Senecio aids digestion when tardy from congested or relaxed conditions of the gastric membranes. It is also useful in capillary hemorrhage, especially in hematuria and in albuminuria with bloody urine. Pulmonary hemorrhage has been checked by it. It has proved an excellent diuretic in gravel and other urinary affections, either alone or in combination with other diuretics, and is said to be a specific instrangury. In pulmonary and hepatic affections it has proved advantageous, and taken freely the decoction has effected cures of dysentery. This remedy produces its effects slowly in chronic disorders.”

Cook “The chief use made of it is as a nervine tonic in female weaknesses, and a mild yet reliable promoter of menstruation. For neuralgia and rheumatism of the womb, the achings and crampings incident to gestation, and mild cases of leucorrhea and prolapsus, it is of much value; also in uterine hysteria, and the feeble appetite and aching of the back suffered by so many females; possibly also acting on the kidneys. While it promotes menstruation in languid and partially atonic amenorrhea, it does so mostly by virtue of its efficient tonic action; and it is in no sense a forcing emmenagogue, but rather aids passive menorrhagia by giving tone to the uterus. Used as a warm infusion, it expedites parturition with great certainty in cases of uterine and nervous fatigue. The kidneys feel its influence moderately well, especially when they are involved with female difficulties. The lungs are strengthened by its use; and though it is extravagant to talk about its curing tubercular consumption, it is unquestionably good for old and debilitated coughs. Some physicians value it highly in sub-acute and chronic dysentery, preferring it even to hydrastis as a tonic for such difficulties. It is only by remembering its tonic and nervine qualities, that the true character of its action in these numerous cases can well be understood.”

Combinations: For menopausal problems it may usefully be combined with St. John’s Wort, Oats or Pasque Flower.

Preparations & Dosage: Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto l-3 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb and leave to infuse for l0-l5 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day. Tincture: l-4 ml of the tincture 3 times a day.

Go to Herbal Materia Medica Homepage

Connection error. Connection fail between instagram and your server. Please try again
Written by David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH

Explore Wellness in 2021