Sewanee Herbarium » Project Center » Medicinal Plants » Spotted Pipsissewa

Chimaphila maculata Spotted pipsissewa
Pyrolaceae (Wintergreen Family)

Other Names: Rat’s bane, Wintergreen, Wild arsenic, Rheumatism root, Dragon’s tongue, Pipsissewa, Spotted wintergreen, Striped prince’s-pine

Description: Perennial, 4-10 in. Leaves lance-shaped, in whorls, midrib broadly white marked. Flowers whitish pink, drooping and waxy. Fruits green, terminal, and stalked.

Where Found: Dry, acidic soil. ME to GA, TN to MI.

Status: Native

Medicinal Part: Leaves

Preparation: Leaf tea, Leaves smoked

Uses: American Indians used leaf tea for backaches, coughs, bladder inflammations, stomachaches, kidney ailments, diuretic, astringent; drops used for sore eyes. Physicians formerly used leaf tea for bladder stones, kidney inflammation, prostatitis, and related ailments. Science confirms diuretic, tonic, astringent, urinary antiseptic, and antibacterial activity.

Constituents and Effects: arbutin, sitosterol ursolic acid: COX-2 inhibitor chimaphilin: antiseptic, antiyeast, antibacterial, and blood thinning.