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  • Chelone glabra L.
  • Scrophulariaceae
  • Figwort family

Common Names

herbsBitter herb
herbsSalt-rheum weed
herbsShell flower

Parts Usually Used


Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Balmony is an herbaceous perennial plant; its simple, erect, square stem reaches 1-3 feet high. Opposite, short-petioled, shiny leaves are dark green, pointed, are serrate and oblong-lanceolate in shape. Bloom from July to September, the white flowers are often tinged with pink or magenta, grow in dense clusters, terminal or axillary spikes. The two-lipped corolla of the flower somewhat resembles a turtle's head, upper lip arching. The fruit is an ovoid capsule.

Where Found

Found in wet ground from Newfoundland to Florida and westward to Minnesota, Kansas, and Texas.

Medicinal Properties

Anthelmintic, antibilious, aperient, cholagogue, stimulant, tonic


Good for weak stomachs and indigestion, general debility, constipation, and torpid (sluggish) liver. It stimulates appetite, fever, jaundice, expels worms, and in small doses is a good tonic during convalescence. Externally, it is used for sores, painful ulcers, herpes,inflamed breasts, and eczema. The ointment relieves itching and irritation of piles.

Formulas or Dosages

This herb may be difficult to obtain.

Infusion: use 1 tsp. leaves to 1 cup water. Take 1-2 cups a day.

Tincture: take 10-20 drops in water, 3-4 times a day.

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