Pink Root

Reviewed on 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

American Wormgrass, Carolina Pink, Indian Pink, Lonicera marilandica, Maryland Pink, Œillet de la Caroline, Raíz Rosa, Rose Indien, Spigelia anthelmia, Spigelia marilandica, Spigélie du Maryland, Starbloom, Wormgrass.


Pink root is an herb. The dried root and bulb are used to make medicine.

People take pink root along with a laxative to get rid of intestinal worms. This remedy was commonly used in the US as late as 1955.

How does it work?

Pink root has activity against intestinal worms. It is taken along with a strong laxative to remove both the worms and the pink root from the intestines.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Removing intestinal worms.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of pink root for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

The FRESH root of pink root is UNSAFE for use. It contains poisonous chemicals.

The DRIED root of pink root seems safe for most people when used short-term along with a strong laxative. The dried root can be unsafe, however, if it is not taken with a strong laxative. It's important to get pink root out of the body quickly because it might still contain some poisonous chemicals, even though it is dried.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's UNSAFE to use pink root, even the dried preparation, if you are pregnant. For pink root to be effective, it must be used along with a strong laxative. But strong laxatives can be harmful during pregnancy. For this reason, pink root should not be used in pregnancy.

It's also best to avoid pink root if you are breast-feeding. There isn't enough information to know whether or not it is safe.


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The appropriate dose of pink root depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for pink root. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Covington TR, et al. Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs. 11th ed. Washington, DC: American Pharmaceutical Association, 1996.