Aletris. Aletris farinosa.

Botanical name: 

Synonym—Star Grass, False Unicorn Root, Starwort.

CONSTITUENTS—Not analyzed.


Extractum Aletridis Fluidum, Fluid Extract of Aletris. Dose, from ten to fifteen minims.
Specific Medicine Aletris. Dose, from one to sixty minims.
Aletridin. Dose, from one-half to one grain.

Action—Emetic, narcotic, cathartic, tonic.

Specific Symptomatology—The conspicuous influence of this agent is upon the womb. It is indicated when the patient complains of extreme weakness in the uterine structures, when there is general feebleness induced from overwork or from oversexual indulgence, or from too frequent child bearing. In hyperactivity of the womb and ovaries from lack of tone, deficient menstruation, or sterility from this cause, pale insufficient flow at protracted intervals; anemia and chlorosis, with insufficient menses in young girls, the agent is of great service.

Therapy—In the above named condition when iron or other tonics are used for their general influence, this remedy should be given for its specific effect. Its direct influence upon the pelvic organs is sometimes magical under such circumstances. Aletris, in large doses, is narcotic, emetic and cathartic. It is a fine tonic and is efficient in flatulent colic and dyspepsia, increasing the tone of the stomach; used also with benefit in general and local debility. It is a host in hysteria.

One of our correspondents says he has frequently given aletris in cases of threatening abortion, for three, four, five and six months, the woman going her full term without any untoward effect, rendering the labor easy and safe. In chlorosis, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, and all engorged conditions of the uterus, as well as prolapsus of that organ, it is a charming remedy. It can be given alone, or combined or alternated with caulophyllum, or with cimicifuga, senecio or helonias as indicated.

"I have often combined aletris and viburnum opulus, or viburnum prunifolium. The viburnum will allay pain; both are sedative to the uterine and ovarian nerve centers. I do not know of any better remedy for such troubles than aletris and viburnum, as anti-abortive. The dose is the same of viburnum opulus and viburnum prunifolium. It is a valuable remedy for uterine colic and other abdominal pains. Hence in ovarian irritation, or dysmenorrhea, viburnum will promptly relieve the pain.

"Flatulent colic is quickly relieved with equal parts of the fluid extracts of aletris, and dioscorea; ten drops given every hour; if the first dose does not relieve, which it often does, repeat. In leucorrhea, aletris, four times a day, or every four hours, will act promptly, if continued, where there is a debilitated condition, defective nutrition and anemic If there is pain in the hips and back, constipation and piles, aesculus hippocastanum can alternate with the aletris."

It acts promptly upon prolapsus or retro or ante-version with relaxed and enfeebled tissues. In emaciated and enfeebled women the influence of this remedy is markedly conspicuous. It improves the function of the ovaries, overcoming sterility and correcting habitual abortion promptly. In the extreme nausea of pregnancy with vomiting, dizziness, or fainting spells, this agent has a direct influence and may be relied upon.

It is not sufficiently well known, but is a constituent of many of the proprietary "mother's cordials" or "female restoratives" on the market. It acts exceedingly well with helonias, senecio aureus, viburnum, and caulophyllum or cimicifuga.

While given for its influence-upon the reproductive organs, it tones the stomach, increases the appetite, improves the digestion and the appropriation of food, and thus directly promotes the elaboration of good blood.

The American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy, 1919, was written by Finley Ellingwood, M.D.
It was scanned by Michael Moore for the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine.