Benefits Of Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium Pubescens) For Health

Benefits Of Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium Pubescens) For Health


Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium Pubescens)


Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium Pubescens) is known as other name: American Valerian, Nerve Root, Bleeding Heart, Lady's Slipper, Moccasin Flower, Monkey Flower, Noah's Ark, Slipper Root, Venus Shoe, Whippoorwill's-shoe, Yellows,Yellow Indian Shoe...

Lady's slipper is a perennially growing herb that reaches a maximum height of one to two feet. The stems of this herb produce oval-shaped leaves that are about 8 inches in length. Each plant produces a single flower during the period of April and June. The color of lady's slipper flowers varies from yellowish to purplish-brown and are borne at the top of an elongated stalk. One petal of the flower changes into a structure akin to a yellow sac, known as the ‘slipper'.

Lady's slipper is indigenous to the forests and meadows in North America. The herb has a plump rootstock that gives rise to numerous curved stems covered with bristles. The stems bear alternate leaves and typical golden yellow blooms. Lady's slipper is a gorgeous member of the orchid family and possesses a distinctive lower lip that transforms into a blow up pouch that resembles the form of a moccasin. Hence, the herb has derived one of its common names ‘Moccasin Flower'. This herb has a spicy and bittersweet flavor along with a disagreeable smell. Lady's slipper succeeds well on damp soils rich in humus content and in any open or shady place.

Benefits Of Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium Pubescens) For Health
Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium Pubescens) Flower Picture

Although lady's slipper possesses a number of distinct therapeutic properties and was valued for them in earlier times, currently the plant is valued more owing to its ornamental features. In the past, American Indians boiled the extract obtained from the plant's roots to soothe the nerves, while the early European settlers in the continent discovered that an extract of lady's slipper was an excellent alternative for valerian or the garden heliotrope, which were especially used by women and children in Europe in the form of a sedative. Subsequently, these European settlers started calling this herb as American valerian. By the middle of the 19th century, physicians in America had begun to prescribe the roots of lady's slipper to treat health conditions, such as headache, irritability, hallucination, hysteria, neuralgia and even epilepsy. In those days, it was said that lady's slipper was a better herb compared to opium for treating insomnia and inducing sleep since this herb was not a downer or narcotic. Even to this day, herbalists advocate the use of lady's slipper in the form of a tranquilizer and also as an antispasmodic agent.

Today, lady's slipper is a rare occasion to stumble upon this powerful flower, and even then, it should not be picked. This plant is considered to be an endangered species in the United States, and is a protected plant in the United Kingdom. Today the herb is cultivated in Eastern Europe.


Benefits Of Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium Pubescens) For Health


Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium Pubescens) roots were used in Native American medicine as a nervine tonic, as well as a treatment for pain and even to induce the dream state. When the European settlers came to North America they integrated the lady's slipper herb into their own healing repertoires. Up until the 1800's it was used to treat hysteria, irritability, headaches, insomnia, epilepsy, and even restlessness in children.

As lady's slipper is scarcely found and expensive too, presently this herb is rarely used. With its specific combination of volatile oils, glucosides, resin, tannins, and b-complex vitamins, lady's slipper offers a natural remedy to nerve disorders. On its own, this herb is very effective for cases of insomnia and restlessness. It blends well with other nervine herbs, such as skullcap, oats, and valerian, for stress. Similar to valerian, lady's slipper is also a useful sedative and helps to diminish emotional tension and generally soothes the mind adequately so as to induce sleep. However, it is obvious that the restorative actions of lady's slipper are more positive compared to valerian.

It may be noted that as of now, lady's slipper is among the most extensively applicable nervines that are present in the materia medica. In fact, lady's slipper facilitates in elevating the mood, particularly when there is depression. In addition, lady's slipper can also ease nervous pain; however, this herb is best used in conjugation with other herbs for treating this condition. Lady's slipper is possibly at its best when it is used to treat anxiety or nervousness related to sleeplessness or insomnia.

Herbalists as well as researchers consider lady's slipper to be a genuine nervine as well as tonic, which mildly reinforces the functional activities of the nervous system. The relaxing attributes of lady's slipper are also deemed to be effective in lowering hyperactivity in children. In the form of a gentle sedative, lady's slipper is known to be useful in alleviating persistent insomnia and restiveness. This herb is particularly helpful when the brain just does not stop working, preventing sleep.

Benefits Of Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium Pubescens) For Health
Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium Pubescens) Flower Picture

Lady's slipper is believed to be an antispasmodic herb that has been effective in easing cramps, spasms as well muscle contractions. Since the herb possesses additional competence to provide relief from nervous conditions, in earlier times, lady's slipper has also been employed to cure epilepsy.

In addition, lady's slipper facilitates in providing relief from the symptoms of neuralgia, a condition accompanied with an acute, excruciating and stabbing pain down the course of a nerve. It is also believed that the herb is effective in alleviating Bell's Palsy (a condition wherein half of the face looses sensitivity).

Lady's slipper also possesses diaphoretic properties and this quality of the herb increases sweating, which eventually cools down the body and also alleviates sporadic fevers.

In high doses the lady's slipper herb can act as a mild hypnotic; it should not be taken along with medications, or alcohol. Pregnant and nursing mothers should avoid it altogether.

Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium Pubescens) Side effects and cautions


It has been found that lady's slipper may enclose tannins, volatile oils and quinones and these elements are attributed to its impact on diarrhea, pruritus, menorrhagia and hemorrhage. In addition, people taking this herb have also reported experiencing a number of side effects, including headache, giddiness and dermatitis. Some people have also complained of delusions and restiveness, in addition to contact dermatitis after using lady's slipper. As the use of lady's slipper has a sedative effect, using any other hypnotic or sedative along with this herb may result in augmented stupor. It may be noted that people who have allergic reactions to orchids should always keep away from lady's slipper. In addition, this herb should never be given to women during pregnancy or breast-feeding women.