Photos of American Dittany, Cunila origanoides

Cunila origanoides, American Dittany, Dittany, Common Dittany, Sweet Horsemint, Stonemint, Mountain Dittany, Feverwort. Native to dry open woods of eastern North America. The genus name orgianoides means oregano-like. During the first chills of autumn frosts, American dittany produces frost flowers at its base. See this link for images of frost flowers. The Cherokee drank tea for headaches, used it as a cold remedy and to increase perspiration helping to reduce fever. The leaf tea is a folk remedy for colds, fevers, headaches, and snakebites. In colonial America it was used to treat wounds. Francis Porcher, in Resources of Southern Fields and Forests (1863), notes that a gentleman in South Carolina said “everybody cured everything with dittany.” Porcher went on to write, “Doubtless they took less mercury and drastic purgatives in consequence.”

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