American mandrake is a most powerful and useful herbal medicine, exercising an influence on every part of the system and stimulating the glands to healthy action[4]. Its greatest power lies in its action on the liver and bowels[4]. It is a gastro-intestinal irritant, a powerful hepatic and intestinal stimulant[4]. Although often used internally in the past, the plant's cytotoxic action makes it an unsafe remedy for internal use[254]. The root is antibilious, cathartic, cytostatic, hydrogogue and purgative[4, 19, 46, 57, 64, 124, 222]. The plant contains podophyllin, which has an antimiotic effect (it interferes with cell division and can thus prevent the growth of cells). It is, therefore, a possible treatment for cancer, and has been used especially in the treatment of ovarian cancer[46, 51, 57, 64, 65, 124, 244]. However, alopecia is said to be a common side-effect of this treatment[244]. The root is most active medicinally in early spring when it is beginning to shoot[4]. The resin, which is obtained from the root[207], is used in the treatment of warts and has been found to be effective against uterine warts that are sometimes experienced in pregnancy[200, 222]. It is also used in the treatment of small-cell carcinoma[207]. The root is harvested in the autumn and either dried for later use or the resin is extracted[238]. The whole plant, apart from the ripe fruit, is highly poisonous and should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner[238]. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women[238]. Large doses have been used to commit suicide[213]. A homeopathic remedy is obtained from the fresh root, harvested before the fruit is ripe[232]. This is used particularly in the treatment of diarrhoea[232].