Partridge Berry, Scientific Name Mitchella repens is an ornamental, creeping, evergreen perennial.
It is native to North America and thrives in dry woods among timber and also in swampy places in humus-rich, neutral-to-acid soil in the shade.
Partridge berry was commonly used by several native North American Indian tribes to hasten childbirth.
It was occasionally used to treat a variety of other complaints including insomnia, rheumatic pain and fluid retention.
It is still used in modern herbalism as an aid to childbirth and is also considered to have a tonic effect upon the uterus and the ovaries.
The herb is astringent, diuretic, hypnotic and tonic.
Daily doses of a tea made from the fresh or dried leaves were, used by North American Indian women in the weeks preceding childbirth to promote smooth delivery.
This tea should not be used during the first six months of labour, however, since it can induce a miscarriage.
The tea is also used to treat delayed, painful or irregular menstruation.
The tea is also used externally as a wash for hives, swellings, sore nipples, rheumatism etc.
The leaves are harvested in the summer and dried for later use.
A tea made from the berries has a particular sedating effect on the nervous system.