Two of the features that correlate most strongly with medicinal use for plants are being easily found and easily identified. This very unassuming plant was much used, but doesn't seem to qualify on those grounds. So why did at least nine Indian nations go looking for it. Amy Bess Miller says it well in Shaker Herbs. "Wild alum root is powerfully astringent without bitterness or an unpleasant taste and is useful in diarrhea. Boiled in water and mixed with sugar and milk, it is easily administered to children. Also used as a gargle for throat irritation." It was also used as a tonic and analgesic, and for gynecological and dermatological needs. American alumroot grows mostly in woods in AL, AR, CT, DE, GE, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, MO, MS, NC, NE, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, VA, WV, and ON. Lenawee Co MI, 6/3/12. Saxifrage family, Saxifragaceae.