Euonymus atropurpureus

Part Used: Root bark.


  • Cardenolides based on digitoxigenin
  • Alkaloids such as asparagine & atropurpurine
  • Sterols; euonysterol, atropurpurol, homoeuonysterol

Actions: Cholagogue, hepatic, laxative, diuretic, circulatory stimulant.

Indications: Wahoo is one of the primary liver herbs.
It acts to remove congestion from the liver, allowing the free
flow of bile and so helping the digestive process It may be used
in the treatment of jaundice and gall-bladder problems such as inflammation and pain or congestion due to stones. It
will relieve constipation where this is due to liver or gall-bladder
problems. Through its normalizing action upon the liver it may help
in a range of skin problems where there is a possible involvement
of the liver.

Ellingwood considered it specific for “indigestion
with biliousness, constipation, chronic intermittents with cachexia,
pulmonaryphthisis with night sweats and great weakness; dropsical
affections following acute disease; in convalescence from severe
intermittent fever; enlargement of the liver; chronic bronchitis.”
In addition he recommends it for the following pathologies: malarial
cachexia, as a nutritive tonic, as a hepatic stimulant, chronic
pulmonary complaints.

Preparations & Dosage: Decoction: pour a cup of water
onto l/2-l teaspoonful of the bark. Bring to the boil and let infuse
for l0-l5 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day. Tincture:
take l-2 ml of the tincture three times a day.

Go to Herbal Materia Medica Homepage

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Written by David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH

Explore Wellness in 2021