False unicorn is native to Mississippi and continues to grow primarily in the southern part of the United States. The roots of false unicorn are most commonly used in herbal medicine.
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False unicorn was used in the Native American tradition for a large number of women’s health conditions, including painful menstruation.
False unicorn was used in the Native American tradition for a large number of women’s health conditions, including painful menstruation. Generally, false unicorn root is taken as a tincture (2–5 ml three times per day). The dried root may also be used (1–2 grams three times daily). It is typically taken in combination with other herbs supportive of the female reproductive organs.
The medicinal use of false unicorn root is based in traditional Native American herbalism. It was recommended for many women’s health conditions, including dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation) and other irregularities of menstruation, as well as to prevent miscarriages.1 False unicorn was also used as a remedy for morning sickness.
Steroidal saponins are generally credited with providing false unicorn root’s activity.2 However, modern investigations have not confirmed this, and no research exists about the medical applications of this herb.
False unicorn root tincture, 1/2–1 teaspoon (2–5 ml) three times per day, is sometimes recommended .3 The dried root, 1/4–1/2 teaspoon (1–2 grams) three times per day, is also used.
No adverse effects have been reported with the use of false unicorn. Although false unicorn has been used historically for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy and to prevent miscarriages, its actions as a possible uterine tonic make its use during pregnancy potentially unsafe.
1. Mills SY. Out of the Earth: The Essential Book of Herbal Medicine. Middlesex, UK: Viking Arkana, 1991, 520–2.
2. Mills SY. Out of the Earth: The Essential Book of Herbal Medicine. Middlesex, UK: Viking Arkana, 1991, 520–2.
3. Newall CA, Anderson LA, Phillipson JD. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-Care Professionals. London: Pharmaceutical Press, 1996, 116.
Last Review: 05-01-2013
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