Seneca root


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(Bot.) the rootstock of an American species of milkworth (Polygala Senega) having an aromatic but bitter taste. It is often used medicinally as an expectorant and diuretic, and, in large doses, as an emetic and cathartic.

See also: Senecas

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Many native elders describe collecting seneca root from areas that are now under intensive cultivation.
In contrast to goldenrod, Seneca root stores its saponins in the roots, making the harvesting of the roots very destructive to wild colonies.
People labored hard at milking cows, picking berries, cutting wood, gathering seneca root and then celebrated a wedding by dancing for three days.