Bearsfoot plant - Polymnia Uvedalia (Asteraceae)

Medicinal Use of Bearsfoot – Polymnia Uvedalia (Asteraceae)


Perennial herb growing to 6½ ft (2 m) with large 3-lobed leaves and yellow flowers.

Habitat & Cultivation

Bearsfoot is native to the eastern U.S. It grows from New York southward, preferring rich soil. The root is unearthed in autumn.

Part Used


History & Folklore

Bearsfoot root was used by Native Americans as a stimulant and laxative remedy. In the 19th century, it became a widely popular healing herb in North America, having a specific use as a treatment for mastitis (inflammation of the breast tissue).

Medicinal Actions & Uses

Bearsfoot is perhaps best known for its use as a hair tonic, having traditionally been a popular ingredient in hair lotions. It is still used in this way, but today the root is more often taken internally as a treatment for nonmalignant swollen glands and especially for mastitis. The root is thought to have a beneficial effect on the stomach, liver, and spleen, and may be taken to relieve indigestion and counteract liver malfunction.