Definition of snakeroot in English:

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snakeroot

Pronunciation: /ˈsnākˌro͞ot/

noun

1Any of a number of North American plants reputed to contain an antidote to snake poison, in particular.
Example sentences
  • Herbal medicine has contributed aspirin from willow bark, reserpine from snakeroot, taxol from the yew tree, but ‘natural’ is not automatically safe.
  • Interestingly, according to Vogel, Senega snakeroot was ‘the chief remedy for heart trouble among the Potawatomis and Meskwakis‘.
  • Wood wrote that their poison could kill a man in an hour unless he treated the bite with snakeroot, moreover if the victim lived, the snake died.
2Any of a number of plants thought to resemble a snake in shape, in particular Indian snakeroot (see rauwolfia).
Example sentences
  • According to legend, mentioned and discredited by Rudyard Kipling in his story ‘Rikki Tikki Tavi,’ mongooses eat Indian snakeroot before engaging in battle with cobras.
  • The Natural Database rates valerian (with or without lemon balm) as possibly effective for insomnia; however, they have found insufficient evidence to recommend Indian snakeroot.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: snake·root

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