Flower of Bethroot - Trillium Erectum (Liliaceae)

Medicinal Use of Bethroot – Trillium Erectum (Liliaceae)


Attractive perennial with an erect stem growing to 16 in (40 cm). Has 3 wavy leaves and an unpleasant-smelling, 3-petaled, red to yellow flower.

Habitat & Cultivation

Native to North America, bethroot grows in shady areas in woodlands. The rhizome is usually unearthed after the leaves have fallen in autumn.

Part Used



Bethroot contains steroidal saponins (such as trillin), tannin, resin, fixed oil, and a trace of volatile oil.

History & Folklore

Various Trillium species were used by Native Americans to aid childbirth, to treat irregular menstrual periods, period pain and excessive vaginal discharge, and, as a poultice, to soothe sore nipples.

Medicinal Actions & Uses

Bethroot is a valuable remedy for heavy menstrual or intermenstrual bleeding, helping to reduce blood flow. It is also used to treat bleeding associated with uterine fibroids. Bethroot may also be taken for bleeding within the urinary tubules and, less commonly, for the coughing up of blood. It remains a valuable herb in facilitating childbirth. A douche of bethroot is useful for excessive vaginal discharge and yeast infections.


Do not take during pregnancy except under professional supervision.