Back To Plant Files

Common Name: Queens Root | Scientific Name: Stillingia Sylvatica

Family Name: Eurphorbiaceae


Stillingia was used by the Eclectic physicians to treat patients who were in the terminal phases of syphilis and TB. When the body could no longer fight off these infections, this herb was used to fire up additional resistance and thereby prolong life.


Notes from the Eclectic Physicians

Notes from the Eclectic Physicians

1874: Scudder
Prepare a tincture from the recent dried root, alchol 98%Oj.Dose from gtts.x.

Stillingia increases waste and excretion, ut its principal action probably depends upon the lymphatic system, favoring the formation of good lymph, hence good blood and nutrition. Experience shows that it favorably influences the system in secondary syphilis, in some forms of scrophula, and in cases of chronic disease where the tissues are feeble and not readily removed and renewed.

I believe it to be more especially useful in those cases wherer there is predominant affection of mucous membranes, and secondly, where the skin is involved. In these cases I have used the simple tincture as above, largely diluted with water, with much better results than I have obtained from any of the compounds of stillingia or alterative syrups.

Evidently in the ordinary manufacture of compound syrup of stillingia , the vertues of stillingia, if it has any, are wholly lost, simply because water or dilute alcohol is not a proper menstrum.

Stillingia exerts a specific influence upon the mucous membranes of the throat, larynx, and bronchii, relieving irritation and favoring normal nutrition and functional activity. Some cases of chronic pharyngitis of years standing, have been releived by this remedy, ater other treatment had failed. It is an excellant remedy in the treatment of some cases of chronic laryngitis, speedily relieving the irritation and cough, and we also employ it in chronic bronchitis with like good results. Now if it is possible to determine the class of cases in which it is thus beneficial, the reader may use it with advantage.

So far as my experience extends, they are those with tumid, red, glistening mucous membranes, with scanty secretion. This condition seems to be the index fort he use of the rmedy for every purpose. In syphilis, in scrofula, in chronic inflammation with deposits, the same red glistening color, with scanty secretion, is my guide to the use of stillingia.

1883: Scudder: (alterative)
The root of stillingia sylvatica. Preparations: Tincture of Stillingia. Oil of Stillingia. Dose: The dose of the tincture will vary from gtt. j. to 3ss. Of the oil, the fraction of a drop.

Therapeutic Action: Stillingia is alterative, and in large doses emetic and cathartic; it is employed exclusively for its alterative properties. It has been extensively used by Eclectic physicians during the last forty years, and we hear but one report of its action; and that is, it is one of the most efficient of the vegetable alteratives. It is evident that it increases the action of the skin, as we find that under its influence this tissue regains its tone, and the secretion is free and constant; we are also convinced that it increases the secretions of the kidneys and bowels in a marked manner.

The Stillingia, either alone or in combination with other alteratives, has been employed successfully by hundreds of physicians in the treatment of scrofulous disease in all its forms. it, like all the more efficient agents of its class, does not, in a majority of cases, produce immediate results; it has to be continued for weeks, or sometimes, though rarely, months.

In secondary and tertiary syphilis it is considered by many of our best practitioners to be one of the most efficient agents in the materia medica for the eradication of the disease.

It possesses valuable pectoral and expectorant properties. professor Morrow used it in the incipient stages of phthisis, complicated with strumous habit, in chronic bronchitis, chronic laryngitis, and expecially in that hoarseness and chronic laryngeal affection to which public speakers are liable. In the last-named affection he regarded it as almost a specific, a small piece of the root being masticated from time to time through the day, and swallowed. He reported that in these affections it invariably afforded more relief than any other agent he had ever administered, and others corroborate this statement.

The fresh root of the Stillingia should always be employed, as it deteriorates greatly by age.

We have employed the oil of Stillingia with great advantage, in chronic laryngitis and bronchitis, and for the cure of cough, when arising from irritation of the air-passages or lungs. We use it in doses of one drop, given on sugar, letting it slowly dissolve in the mouth, and swallowing without water.

Tinctura Oleum Stillingia Compositus – R Oil of Stillingia, Oil of Lobelia, aal, 3ij., Oil of Cajeput, 3j., Alcohol 3iij.; mix. This, sometimes called the compound Stillingia liniment, is the most efficient remedy for the cure of long standing and obstinate coughs arising from irritation of the respiratory passages, which we know of. For this purpose we direct from one to two drops upon a lump of sugar, two or three times daily, and if there is any affection of the larynx, that it be freely applied to the throat. it is also an efficient remedy in the first stages of croup; give to a child two years old, one-half to one drop upon a lump of sugar, every hour or two, or oftener if necessary. It is also one of the best applications to the throat in croup; in spasmodic and mucous croup it frequently proves sufficient of itself to control the disease.

This is one of the most efficient vegetable alterative compounds that can be used. It stimulates normal action of all the excretory organs, improves the appetite, digestion, and assimilation. It may be taken in doses of from a teaspoonful to a tablespoonful, three or four times a day.

1892: Neiderkorn
Secondary and tertiary syphilis, scrofula where tissues are feeble and not readily removed and renewed, glistning mucous membrane with scanty secretion.

1898: Felter and Lloyd – STILLINGIA (U.S.P.) – STILLINGIA
Action, Medical Uses,and Dosage – In large doses, stillingia vomits and purges, producing in many instances a peculiar, disagreeable burning sensation in the stomach, or some portion of the alimentary canal, accompanied with more or less prostration of the system. In less doses it is an alterative, exerting an influence over the secretory and lymphatic functions, which is unsurpassed by few, if any other of the known alteratives. It must, however, be fresh or recent material to be of any therapeutic value, and undoubtedly many of the failures to obtain good results in the use of stillingia are due to the fact that preparations from old and worthless material have been employed. It is an American remedy of much importance and value, and is extensively used in all the various forms of primary and secondary syphilitic affections, in which it appears to have a most decided action; also in scrofulous, hepatic and cutaneous affections, in which its administration is followed by the most successful results (J. King). In regard to its effects upon syphilis there appears to be much discordance of opinion among physicians, and this is probably due to the fact that in earlier years it was undoubtedly much overrated, that poor preparations have been employed and that the special conditions favoring its action have not been properly observed. When the specific indications for the drug have been followed the results have been fully as good as have been obtained from any of the antisyphilitics. The cases for its exhibition in syphilitic and other affections are those in which the tissues are feeble and are tardily removed and renewed; the mucous membranes are predominantly affected and the skin secondarily; and the mucous surfaces are tumid, red, and glistening, and secretion is scanty. With these indications it has been very successfully used in syphilitic and strumous diseases, and chronic inflammations with low deposits. It has been found very beneficial in chronic laryngeal and bronchial affections, and in leucorrhoea. Small pieces of the recent root, chewed occasionally through the day, have effectually and permanently cured laryngitis and bronchitis. In fact stillingia is one of the most important of laryngeal remedies, not only relieving irritation of that important organ, but proving beneficial in irritative disorders of the fauces, trachea, and bronchia. It is, therefore, an important cough remedy, and we have observed the irritative winter-cough of years; standing promptly cured with small doses of specific stillingia. A strumous diathesis adds to its adaptability to chronic coughs. This remedy exerts some influence upon the periosteal structures and is applicable to the periosteal pains in old cases of syphilis with tendency to periosteal destruction and the formation of nodes and exostoses, as of the tibia, head, and face. It is likewise said to favorably influence the persistent pains of chronic periosteal rheumatism. Stillingia is a very important remedy, and by improving the lymphatic functions aids in good blood-making and nutrition, and may be taken without harm for a continued period. It is very important, however, that the proper preparations be used. As before stated the root, when long kept, has its active properties impaired; as a rule, syrups and decoctions are of less value than the alcoholic preparations of the fresh drug, as the properties are but imperfectly extracted by water. The stronger alcoholic preparations (as a strong tincture), the fluid extract (which may be given with aromatics, as oil of anise or caraway), and especially specific stillingia, are far preferable to other forms of administration (see Stillingia Liniment). The oil is entirely too acrid for internal use, unless it be well incorporated with some mucilaginous or saccharine substance. But as an external stimulating application, the oil will be found very valuable in many instances. One drop of it placed upon the tongue, and repeated 3 or 4 times a day, is reputed to have proved successful in cases of severe croup. Stillingia liniment, both externally and internally, is an excellent remedy in various forms of croup. Dose of the tincture from 1/2 fluid drachm to 1 fluid drachm; of the decoction, 1 or 2 fluid ounces; of specific stillingia, 1 to 20 drops.

Specific Indications and Uses – Feeble tissues, with tardy removal of broken-down material, and slow renewal of the parts; mucous membranes, tumid, red, and glistening, with scanty secretion; skin affections, with irritation and ichorous discharge; laryngeal irritation, with paroxysmal, hoarse, croupous cough; irritation of the superior pharynx just behind the fauces, with cough; winter-cough of irritation; periosteal pain and tendency to form nodes; an important remedy in struma and syphilitic affections.

1898; Webster; (Periosteum) – STILLINGIA
This remedy resembles phytolacca in its influence upon the periosteum, being adapted to periosteal rheumatism and cases where bone pains are chronic and persistent. The drug aborts nodes, when given early in their development, and relieves, at the same time, the periosteal irritation.

1898: Webster: (Lymphatic System)
A tincture of the green root of this plant is a valuable remedy in scrofula and syphilis, and probably much of this excellance depends on its action on the lymphatic system.

King, Scudder, Goss, and other Eclectic writers have endorsed stillingia as a reliable remedy in affections of the lymphatics, but many have nevertheless been dispapointed with its action. The explanation for this lies in the fact that the virtues of the root are lost in drying, and those who have been most successful have used preparations from the fresh article.

1898; Webster; (Antiseptics, Antizymotics, Correctives) – STILLINGIA SYLVATICA
Quite a diversity of opinion exists in the professions respecting the merits of this remedy as a corrector of scrofulous and syphilitic dyserasiae. Whatever recommendation it may be favored with, one fact remains, it is but seldom used for these qualities at present, and we much naturally conclude that this is because it has disappointed expectation so often as to destroy its credit. Professor Goss offers a very reasonable explanation for this in the assertion that the virtues of the drug depend upon the freshness of the crude material from which it is obtained. This author asserts that the fresh root supplies a principle which is very positive as an antisyphilitic, but that the dry root is worthless, as well as any preparation made from it. He asserts that before finding the plant growing, he repeatedly tried both stillingia and the syrup made from the dried root without satisfactory result, but after gathering the fresh material himself and preparing his own drug from it he succeeded in curing many stubborn cases.

Stillingia probably produces its curative effects partly, if not wholly, through its influence upon the lymphatic glands, though we have no positive evidence of it. As one of the first symptoms of syphilis, however, is glandular induration, and the lymphatics are supposed to preside in a certain way over the blood making processes, it is but natural to ascribe an action of the kind to a remedy which proves curative in syphilis.

The remedy furthermore is fully as valuable in scrofula, when a recent product is employed, and this would tend to corrobrate the assertion that it acts upon the lymphatic glands.

The selective influence of this drug upon the larynx will be referred to in another place.

1898; Webster; (Osseous System) – Stillingia Sylvatica
This remedy possesses a reputation in the treatment of new formulations of bony character which should be borne in mind – bony growths about the head and face (exostoses) as well as exostosis of the tibia.

The remedy seems to resemble corydalis very closely in this respect, influencing the plasticity of the superficial or compact tissue of bone, and correcting an abnormal tendency to the putting forth of nodular growth.

It also serves a good purpose in periosteal pains in old syphilitics, where, probably, there is a putting forth of new bony growth, or structural change occurring in the periosteum.

Form for Administration. – A tincture of the fresh root. The best substitute for this would be the specific medicine.

Dose. – From five to ten drops three or four times a day.

1905: Neiderkorn:
Chronic skin diseases, showing marked irritation with ichorous discharge, tissues are feeble, broken down material not easily removed. dose: five to 20 drops every four hours.

Syn – Stillingia; Queen’s Delight

P. E. – Fresh root

N. O. – Eunhorbiaceae

N. H. – United States

Properties: Alterative, stimulant, in large doses cathartic, emetic.

Indications: When throat is tumid, red, glistening membrane with scanty secretion. In skin diseases of moist nature, red and irritable.

Use: In chronic sore throat, in ozaena and laryngitis. In irritation of the mucous membrane of the larynx, pharynx, bronchi and throat with deficient secretion. Of value in bronchial cough of a croupy nature and little or no secretion. In syphilis and strumous conditions it is of great value. It must however be prepared from the fresh root as the dry root is inert.

1911: FYFE
Chronic sore throat, irritation of superior pharynx and just behind the fauces, causing cough, paraxysmal cough accompanied by laryngeal irritation, skin diseases showing marked irritation, with thin acrid discharge, ozaena,syphilis. Stillingia aquatica is alterative, resolvent, diuretic, tonic, and stimulant.

1911: LLOYD
Stillingia sylvatica is native to the pine barrens of the Southern States of North America, and in the form of an infusion or decoction of the green drug has been used in domestic medicine as a purgative and alterative, creeping thence to the attention of physicians of the Southern States. It was also employed empirically in cutaneous diseases, and as a constituent of various “blood purifiers” used commonly by the people of the South. A once popular remedy, Wayne’s Panacea, was asserted by Rafinqesque (535) to depend for its qualities upon stillingia, which Dr. John King (356-357) in his American Dispensatory most positively controverted. Inasmuch as Peter Smith (605), the “Indian Herb Doctor,” neglects stillingia in his Dispensatory, while Rafinsque (535) gives it brief mention in his Medical Equivalents, it is evident that the drug came to the general attention of the medical profession by reason of the use made of it by the settlers, about the date of the first edition of King’s American Dispensatory, 1852. Since that period until the early 60′s it was a conspicuous constituent of the popular American “blood purifiers” and in the form of compound syrup of stillingia was used alike in empirical medication and by the profession.

Constituents – An acrid resin, volatile oil, stillingine, tannin, starch, gum.

Preparations – Extractum Stillingiae Fluidum. Fluid Extract of Stillingia. Dose, from ten to sixty minims. Specific Stillingia. Dose, from one to sixty minims. Linimentum Stillingiae Compositum, A. D., Sytupus Stillingiae Compositus, A. D., Oleum Stillingiae, A. D.

Specific Symptomatology – Irritation of the mucous membranes of the bronchial tubes, larynx, throat and both nasal cavities, deficient secretion, membranes red and tumid or glistening, blood dyscrasia with general enfeeblement, skin diseases of a moist character, red and irritable.

Therapy – The application of this substances to the chest with the internal use of small doses of the tincture will be found of great benefit in bronchial cough where there is a sensation of tightness in the chest, where the cough is hoarse and croupal without secretion. It has long been used in conjunction with lobelia in the treatment of croup.

As an alterative it has taken front rank with Eclectics for fity years. it is in general use in syphilis, in scrofula, in bloo dtaint of any character, in tubercular disease, and in the cancerous diathesis.

Disclaimer: The author makes no guarantees as to the the curative effect of any herb or tonic on this website, and no visitor should attempt to use any of the information herein provided as treatment for any illness, weakness, or disease without first consulting a physician or health care provider. Pregnant women should always consult first with a health care professional before taking any treatment.