Perennial growing to 1.2 m (4 ft). Has leathery leaves, yellow flowers without petals, and 3-lobed fruit.
Habitat & Cultivation
Queen’s delight is native to the southeastern U.S., where it prefers sandy soils. The root is unearthed in autumn.
Queen’s delight contains diterpenes, fixed oil, volatile oil, resin, and tannins. The fresh root is considered to be most active.
History & Folklore
Queen’s delight was used by Native Americans as a purgative, a treatment for skin eruptions, and a remedy for venereal disease. Creek women who had just given birth took a decoction of the root or were bathed with an infusion. Queen’s delight was included in the Pharmacopoeia of the United States from 1831 to 1926.
Medicinal Actions & Uses
Queen’s delight appears to promote general detoxification. It is taken internally to help clear constipation, boils, weeping eczema, and scrofula (tubercular infection of the lymph glands of the neck). The root is also taken to treat bronchitis and throat infection. Externally, it is applied as a lotion to hemorrhoids, eczema, and psoriasis.
Use only under professional supervision. Queen’s delight is emetic and purgative in large doses.