Picking Coptis.

Botanical name: 

Date: Mon, 11 Mar 1996 10:36:59 MST
From: Michael Moore <hrbmoore.RT66.COM>
Subject: Re: Expectorant/Gold Thread

>Gold Thread or Goldenthread is a small strawberry type leaved evergreen creeper with golden thread like roots, it grows in swamps and moist woods. It is valued for its use as a medicinal and dye plant.
>Nelson Coon states that it is often listed under two different (or either or) scientific names, Coptis groenlandica or C. trifolia

If you want to see what Coptis (Goldthread) LOOKS like, I have three JPEGS of Goldthreads that can be viewed on my web site. The 800 or so images are all listed by genus, although I plan on getting up a linkpage by common name pretty soon. Goldthread, in my opinion, is possibly the queen of remedies for stomatitis and slowly healing mouth sores (Myrrh and Anemopsis being preferable for acute problems).

If you ever get a chance to gather some, be sure to use the leaves and stems as well...all parts of the plant are active. The constant reference to Goldthread Roots is a clumsy remnant of the crude drug trade of a century ago...the dried roots could be stored in burlap bags for a DECADE, the foliage lasted but a year or two. With drastic loss of wild places in the last century, we need to revamp our often wasteful use of herbs, gathered according to standards set in greener (and profligate) times.

Michael Moore (hrbmoore.rt66.com)