Adams Herbs




(Ceanothus americanus)

The premier tonic for swollen glands

OTHER NAMES: New Jersey Tea

PART USED: Root (medicinally), leaves (beverage)

FOUND IN: Immune Dragon Super Brew

NOTES: It’s hard to really do Red Root justice without flat-out plagiarizing Michael Moore’s erudite treatment in Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West. So: credit where credit is due: I wouldn’t be writing this without Mr. Moore.

Red Root tones the structural tissues of the lymphatic system. While other herbs address lymphatic stagnation by getting the lymphocytes moving and grooving, Red Root keeps the lymph nodes and associated glandular tissue from getting boggy and saggy and swollen with all the activity. A typical formula for swollen glands would combine a structural lymph tonic (Red Root), with functional lymph stimulants (Echinacea, Stillingia, Thuja, Baptisia, Ocotillo, etc).

Red Root doesn’t just tone the lymphatics. A little bit added to a mouthwash is wonderful in loose and bleeding gums. It’s also a useful addition to herbal throat sprays, especially when there’s overuse and vocal strain. It can be used in splenomegaly, and as an adjunct in cases of swollen liver (along with herbs that stimulate bile flow and some general liver tonics). Slowly, and over time, it will increase the integrity of various luminal tissues that can “leak” through the interstitial space, such as the blood vessels and GI tract mucosa.

A small amount of Red Root can be added to a cold’n’flu formula to offset any tendency towards swollen lymph nodes during an acute illness. This is more than just an issue of comfort or symptom control. The lymph nodes are the “meeting halls” of the immune system. Keeping them in good shape facilitates efficient and effective communication between white blood cells, even in the roiling mess that’s a full-out, pedal-to-the-metal, acute immune response.

Red Root picked up the name “New Jersey Tea” during the American revolution. The British navy was blockading imports of tea (I guess the Boston Tea Party annoyed them just a little bit), and the Colonials substituted dried Red Root leaves. The leaves do indeed brew up to look and taste like black tea (albeit minus the caffeine).

SAFETY: Red Root is pretty safe in healthy individuals not on meds. Therapeutic doses should be used very cautiously in conjunction with anticoagulant meds (“baby” aspirin is not a problem). Very high doses may be reversibly constipating.

DOSING: 20-40 drops of the standard tincture, 2-3 times a day. Higher doses will be used in acute splenomegaly and with an enlarged liver, but should be supervised by an experienced practitioner.



© 2009 Adam Herbs. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Use common sense. Don't jump into a full therapeutic dose of anything the first day. Trust your experience more than someone's learned opinion. If you're dealing with something scary or serious, work with a professional. If the professional appears incompetent, find a better one.