Heuchera. Alum-root, American Sanicle. Heuchera americana.
Heuchera. Heuchera americana, L. Racine d'Heuchere d'Amerique, Fr. Amerikanische Sanikelwurzel, Gr.—The alum-root or American sanicle is a perennial, herbaceous plant, belonging to the Saxifragaceae, which grows in shady, rocky situations from New England to Carolina and westward to eastern Kansas. The rhizome, which was formerly official, is horizontal, somewhat compressed, knotty, irregular, yellowish, and of a strongly styptic taste. Alum-root is powerfully astringent, and may be employed in similar cases with other medicines belonging to the same class. J. Peacock (A. J. P., 1891, 174) found a percentage of tannin ranging from 9.33 to 19.66 reckoned on the dry drug, according to the season of the year when collected; also a percentage of starch, calculated the same way, ranging from 5.17 to 16.32. Frederick Steams (Proc. A. Ph. A., 1858, 263) speaks of two other indigenous species, H. villosa Michx. (H. caulescens Pursh.) and H. pubescens Pursh. , as having similar properties; and F. W. Anderson reports (Botan. Gaz., 1887, 65) that the roots of H. hispida Pursh. , H. cylindrical, Douglas , and H. parvifolia Nuttall are much used by hunters of Montana and others as astringents, particularly in diarrhea caused by the drinking of alkali water.