- ''"Twinleaf" redirects here. For the town in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, see Twinleaf Town.
which is also known as Twinleaf
or Rheumatism root
, is a small genus
of herbaceous perennial plants
in the family Berberidaceae
. The two species are native to eastern Asia
and eastern North America
. They are uncommon spring wildflowers, which grow in limestone
soils of rich woodland. Jeffersonia
was named for United States President Thomas Jefferson
, by his contemporary Benjamin Smith Barton
. This genus was formerly, incorrectly grouped in genus Podophyllum
. Twinleaf is protected by state laws as a threatened or endangered plant in Georgia, Iowa, New York, and New Jersey.
of this plant
are smooth and emerge directly from the base of the plant. Jeffersonia
has showy white flowers with eight petals
; the flower resembles Bloodroot
, a small poppy
. The flower last only a short time after blooming in April or May, and gives way to a green pear-shaped capsule with a hinged top. The characteristic leaves are large and nearly divided in half, giving rise to its common name, Twinleaf. Plants in this genus rarely grow taller than 12 inches (30 cm).
- Jeffersonia diphylla. Eastern North America.
- Jeffersonia dubia. Manchuria, China.
is a poisonous plant, it has had a variety of medical uses throughout history. One of those uses is hinted at by an archaic common name of Jeffersonia diphylla
, Rheumatism root. The "roots
" of both species contain berberine
, a known anti-tumor alkaloid
utilized Jeffersonia diphylla
for a variety of medicines. The Cherokee
reportedly used an infusion of this plant for treating dropsy and urinary tract problems, it was also used as a poultice for sores and inflammation. The Iroquois
used a decoction of the plant to treat liver
problems and diarrhea
The whole plant was used in early American medicine as an antispasmodic, diuretic, emetic, expectorant and general tonic. The "root" was once also used as an emetic in large doses, and as an expectorant in small doses. Modern medicine does not currently utilize this plant.
Traditional Chinese medicine
uses Jeffersonia dubia
for strengthening the stomach
and bringing down fevers.