The whole plant.
Beechdrops has a number of therapeutic uses. As this herb possesses astringent attributes, it is generally employed externally to heal cuts, bruises, wounds, and even skin irritation. In North America, the native Indians have been using the beechdrops for treating a number of health conditions like diarrhea, dysentery, cold sores and mouth sores. People who have been suffering from hemorrhages or bleedings of the uterus or bowels as well as diarrhea have found this herb useful in treating these conditions. Although some people claim that beechdrops is helpful in treating cancer, there is no scientific evidence that the plant possesses any such attributes. A decoction prepared from the herb is consumed generously for treating erysipelas (a severe infectious skin disease, characterized by headache, fever and vomiting). This decoction is also used to rinse the affected areas and is proven to be effective for this condition. When applied locally in the form of a decoction or poultice, beechdrops helps to stop or prevent gangrenes when applied topically to wounds, and ulcers. A poultice prepared with equal proportions of beechdrops, white oak and poke is said to be extremely effective in treating herpetic affections. Beechdrops is also effective when applied externally to persistent ulcers, leucorrhoea, aphthous ulcerations (recurrent round or oval ulcers inside the mouth), gleet (pus and mucus discharge) and similar conditions. Homeopathic physicians recommend this herb for treating headaches caused by exhaustion and long journeys. It has been found that this parasitic plant has some effect on the capillary system, something akin to what is produced when the tincture of chloride of iron is used. If taken in powdered form, the standard dosage of beechdrops is anything between 10 and 15 grains. The decoction prepared from the herb may be consumed freely. Beechdrops is a parasitic plant found growing on the roots of the American beech. It has a bitter, sickening and astringent taste, which decreases greatly when the herb is dried out. This herb is used internally for treating conditions related to the bowel. It is also effective in arresting gangrene when applied locally to ulcers or wounds (see above).
Beechdrops is an annually growing parasitic plant that does not have any chlorophyll and survives by obtaining the necessary nutrients from the American beech trees (Fagus grandifolia). It is impossible for beechdrops to survive without the existence of the beech trees. Beechdrops is always found growing underneath this tree. This parasitic species thrives excellently in moist thickets and woodlands.
Chemical analysis of the beechdrops plants has revealed that they enclose sterols as well as fatty acids. Usually, these plants also contain a chemical called orobanchin, which is responsible for the whole plant changing its color to black when dried.