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Herb Information
Name: Balmony
Biological Name: Chelone glabra


Other Names: Bitter Herb, Snake Head, Turtle Head, Turtle Broom, Turtlebloom, saltrheum weed, shell flower, snakehead, Balmony
Parts Used: Leaves
Active Compounds:  

Very little work has been done on this plant. Resins and bitters only have been reported.

Remedies For

Actions : Cholagogue, hepatic, anti-emetic, stimulant, laxative, antheimintic, aperient, cholagogue, tonic.

It Is beneficial for a weak stomach and indigestion, general debility, constipation, and torpid liver, it also stimulates the appetite, and in small doses is a good tonic during convalescence. In addition, balmony is an effective antheimintic. Externally, it is used for sores and eczema. The ointment is valuable to relieve the itching and irritation of piles.

Indications : Balmony is an excellent agent for liver problems. It acts as a tonic on the whole digestive and absorptive system. It has a stimulating effect on the secretion of digestive juices, and in this most natural way its laxative properties are produced. Balmony is used in gall stones, inflammation of the gall-bladder and in jaundice. It stimulates the appetite, eases colic, dyspepsia and biliousness and is helpful in debility. Externally it has been used on inflamed breasts, painful ulcers and piles. It is considered a specific in gall stones that lead to congestive jaundice.

Herbalists consider this herb a useful remedy for gastro-intestinal debility with hepatic torpor or jaundice. Dyspeptic conditions attending convalescence from prostrating fevers are often aided by it, and should be studied particularly for vague and shifting pain in the region of the ascending colon.

Kings Dispensatory describes it as being tonic, cathartic, and anthelmintic. Especially valuable in jaundice and hepatic diseases, likewise for the removal of worms, for which it may be used in powder or decoction, internally and also in injection. Used as a tonic in small doses, in dyspepsia, debility of the digestive organs, particularly when associated with hepatic inactivity, and during convalescence from febrile and inflammatory diseases. It is valuable after malarial fevers as a tonic and to unlock the secretions when checked by quinine. Recommended in form of ointment as an application to painful and inflamed tumors, irritable and painful ulcers, inflammed breasts, piles, etc. Kings gives the following specific indications: Gastro-intestinal debility, with hepatic torpor or jaundice; worms.


Balmony is an herbaceous perennial plant found in wet ground from Newfoundland to Florida and westward to Minnesota, Kansas, and Texas, Its simple, erect, square stem reaches a height of 1 to 3 feet. Opposite and short-petioled, its shining, dark green, pointed leaves are ser- rate and oblong-lancealate in shape. Blooming from July to September, the white flowers, often tinged with pink or magenta, grow in dense terminal or axillary spikes. The two-lipped corolla of the flower somewhat resembles a turtle's head. The fruit is an ovoid capsule.


Infusion: Use I tsp. leaves to I cup water. Take I to 2 cups a day.

Tincture: Take 10 to 20 drops in water, three or four times a day.

Combinations : For the relief on constipation, Balmony may be combined with Butternut. For jaundice it will best be used with Milk Thistle and other toning hepatics such as Golden Seal.

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