Also known as balmony, saltrheum weed,
shell flower and snakehead. A herbaceous perennial plant, turtlebloom is
found in wet soil. It grows to a height of 1 to 3 feet and has a square
stem. The plant's pointed leaves are dark green and shiny. White flowers
tinged with pink or magenta grow in spikes between July and September.
The fruit of the plant is an ovoid capsule, and the flower resembles a
turtle's head (hence the name).
The leaves of the turtlebloom plant
have anthelmintic, aperient, cholagogue, stimulant and tonic
properties. It can be helpful for weak stomach, indigestion, general
debility, constipation and torpid liver. In small doses, it makes a
good tonic during convalescence, and stimulates the appetite. Externally,
turtlebloom is beneficial for sores and eczema, and an ointment made from
the herb can relieve itching and irritation associated with piles.