Parthenium integrifolium, also known as Missouri Snakeroot or wild quinine, is native to prairies and woodlands in eastern North America. It is a hardy flowering plant that contains a high concentration of tannins, and has been used as a medicinal and veterinary herb by Native Americans for centuries.
The Catawba and other Native American tribes would crush the leaves and make tea to treat dysentery or create a poultice to treat burns. They would also place whole, fresh leaves directly on burn wounds. The leaves were massaged into horses suffering from muscle soreness.
It has been confused with echinacea, and was mislabeled in the past, since some of its health benefits are similar. Some of the health benefits overlap with those of echinacea, but parthenium has a few differences.
Parthenium is believed enhance immune system function, and contains vitamin A and zinc, both of which are important for a healthy immune system.
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