Red Root - Apart from New Jersey tea it is also known as Indian tea, mountain sweet, snowbrush, red-root, wild snowball, redroot, soapbloom, mountain sweet, mountain snowball, mountain-sweet, Bobea and Walpole tea.
The root contains astringent tannins and a number of peptide alkaloids, including ceanothine A-E, pandamine, zizyphine, scutianine, and the adouetines. They have a mild hypotensive effect. The medicinal actions of Red Root are Astringent, antispasmodic,alterative, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial,anti-syphilitic expectorant, lymphatic, nervine, sedative, Styptic, tonic .
It is used in asthma, chronic bronchitis, whooping-cough, consumption, dysentery; also as a mouth-wash and gargle, gonorrhoea, gleet (a urethral discharge of mucous or purulent pus associated with gonorrhoea ) leucorrhoea, tonsillitis, sore throat, haemorrhoids. A decoction prepared from the root bark of this plant is often employed to rinse the skin for treating sores formed due to cancer as well as venereal sores. The bark is also dried up and pulverized into a powder that is used for dusting sores.
Besides the old uses, as given above, ceanothus has been found to be a useful gastric, hepatic, and splenic stimulant, and it is in splenic troubles that its action is most favourable.
It is a very useful herb in assisting with killing Borellia spirochetes associated with Lyme Disease.
The healing uses of the plant were known to the native tribes of North America who used it to treat skin cancers, skin lesions, and venereal sores.