Edible Parts: Root; Seed.
Edible Uses: Coffee.
Root - cooked. Eaten when several years old. It contains up to 40% starch, 6% protein. Some caution is advised. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. Seed - cooked. It contains about 47% starch.
Anaphrodisiac; Anodyne; Antiscrophulatic; Astringent; Cardiotonic; Demulcent; Sedative.
The rhizome is anodyne, antiscrofulatic, astringent, cardiotonic, demulcent and sedative. A decoction of the root is used in the treatment of dysentery or diarrhoea caused by irritable bowel syndrome. It has also been used to treat bronchial catarrh and kidney pain and can be taken as a gargle for sore throats. Externally it can be used to make a douche to treat vaginal soreness or discharges. In combination with slippery elm (Ulmus rubra) or flax (Linum usitatissimum) it is used as a poultice to treat boils and abscesses. The rhizome is harvested in the autumn and can be dried for later use. The flowers are anaphrodisiac and sedative. They have a generally calming and sedative effect upon the nervous system, reputedly reducing the sex drive and making them useful in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety and similar disorders. A complete cure of uterine cancer by a decoction and uterine injection has been recorded.