Alternative Names: Squaw vine, partridgeberry, squaw berry, checkerberry, deerberry, winter clover, twinberry, and hive vine.
Squaw Vine is famous for its use by women for a wide range of gynecological complaints. It is reputed to promote an easy labor by aiding contractions of the womb during childbirth and is also recommended for dysmenorrhea and other painful conditions of the female reproductive tract.
Squawvine's name refers to its use by Native American women as a remedy for a range of conditions. Squawvine is also referred to as "partridge berry" because some people consider the other name to be insulting to Native American women.
Native Americans ate the berries and made them into a jelly, which was eaten in case of fevers.
The plant was used to ease menstrual cramps, strengthen the uterus for childbirth, and prevent miscarriage. During the final 2 to 4 weeks of a Native American woman's pregnancy, she drank tea made from squawvine leaves so that childbirth was less painful.
In folk medicine, squawvine continued to be a remedy for women's disorders. In addition to conditions related to childbirth, the herb was used to treat postpartum depression, irregular menstruation, and bleeding. In addition to treating internal ailments, a squawvine wash was said to provide relief to sore eyes. Squawvine is still used in folk medicine to treat conditions including anxiety, hemorrhoids, insomnia, muscle spasms, edema, and inflammation.
Squawvine is an evergreen herb that is native to North America, growing in the forests and woodlands of the Eastern United States and Canada. Usually found at the base of trees and stumps and growing year round, herbalists recommend collecting the herb when the plant flowers during the months of April through June.
Squawvine is available in various forms. Commercial preparations include tinctures, extracts and powdered herb.
Squawvine is most beneficial in childbirth. It strengthens the uterus, tones the uterine lining, helps prevent miscarriage, and relieves congestion of the uterus and ovaries. Its antiseptic properties make it valuable for treating vaginal infections, and is a natural nerve sedative.
Squawvine is among the best remedies for preparing the uterus (and whole body) for child birth. For this purpose this herb has been traditionally taken for several weeks before the child is due. Squawvine may also be used for the relief of painful menstrual periods. As an astringent, it has been used in the treatment of colitis.
Furthermore, squawvine is recognized by practitioners of alternative medicine for its effectiveness as a diuretic. It is used to treat such urinary conditions as suppression of urine. Squawvine is also a remedy for diarrhea, shrinking tissues, muscle spasms, and nerves.
Squawvine is still used as an eye wash. It is also used as a skin wash and to treat colitis.
Squawvine tea, which is also known as an infusion, is made by pouring 1 cup (240ml) of boiling water over 1 tsp (1.5gm) of the dried herb. The mixture is steeped for 10 to 15 minutes and then strained. Squawvine tea may be taken up to three times a day. Women seeking relief for difficult or painful menstruation can combine squawvine with cramp bark and pasque flower.
Squawvine tincture can be used in an infusion. The dosage is 1-2ml in 1 cup (240ml) of boiling water. The tincture dosage can be taken three times a day.
Squawvine is often used in combination with Raspberry.
There are no known side-effects from using squawvine. Little research has been done, however, on its safety.
Pregnant women should not take squawvine during the first two trimesters of pregnancy.
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