The balmony is more often known as turtlehead, white turtlehead, turtle bloom, bitter herb, salt rheum weed, shellflower, snakehead.


It is native to Eastern and Central North America and Canada and grows best in moist soil and wetlands, such as riparian forests and swamps.


It grows up to 40 to 120 cm in height. The plant has a smooth, upright stem and oval to lance-shaped leaves arranged opposite each other along the stem.

Part Used

In herbal medicine, the aerial parts of the plant are used when the plant is in bloom or when it produces seeds. The herb is dried for later uses in tinctures and herbal teas.


Traditional Uses and benefits

The Balmony has been used traditionally to relieve nausea, vomiting, and colic (intestinal cramps) and as a remedy for indigestion (dyspepsia), general weakness, anorexia, and to get rid of intestinal parasites (worms).

In history, the Native Americans were used for blood purification purposes and as a treatment for atopic eczema (atopic dermatitis) and chronic rheumatic conditions.

Externally, the herb has been used as ointment or cream on hemorrhoids, inflamed breast, herpes, inflamed and painful wounds, cuts, and scrapes.

Dosage and Precautions

Balmony is a nontoxic plant that can be used by both children and the elderly, especially for digestive problems caused by prolonged diseases.

Add 1-2 g dried plant in 250 mL of boiling water and let it soak for 10-15 minutes. Then, the tea can be consumed three times a day.

As a tincture: 1:10 with 40 % alcohol. The standard dosage is 1-2 ml three times daily.

There is no report regarding toxicity, contraindications, or adverse side effects of moderate doses.


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