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Were You Aware of These Ghost Pipe Benefits? [5 of the Best]

Were you surprised that the white fungus-looking plant, Ghost Pipe, encountered in your forest walk is used for preparing medicines?

Remember, this otherworldly, pale fungus look-alike has tremendous benefits, especially in homeopathy.

Using Ghost Pipe entails many practical benefits, including as a sedative for convulsions in children, as a treatment for febrile diseases, restlessness, pain, and anxiety, and as an aid in digestion, sleep, and maintaining the local ecosystem.

Please find out how to approach this ghost plant, harvest it, and obtain its inherent benefits.

Ghost Pipe Overview

Did you know Ghost Pipe is often confused for a fungus due to its ghostly white appearance?

In fact, it is a herbaceous perennial that grows throughout temperate regions in Asia, Europe, and North America.

Also known as Indian pipe, Ice-plant, Bird’s nest, Fit-plant, Ova-ova, Pipe-plant, and Ghost-flower, it is a mycoheterotrophic species that obtain nutrients from fungi transferred from nearby trees, allowing it to grow.

It may look like a mushroom growing out of the ground in a shade of white with sometimes black specks or pink or red coloration.

Ghost pipe plant
Ghost Pipe grows in moist woodland that supports its lifecycle.

If you are a newbie, here is what you need to know about the plant.

Scientific NameMonotropa uniflora
Common NameGhost pipe or Indian pipe
NativeTemperate regions
USDAZone 4a-7b
Plant Typemycoheterotropic
Plants Mature Size5–30 cm (2–12 inches)
Leaf Size5-10 mm
Flower Single nodding flower (white, pink, or pale yellow)
Bloom TimeJune-September
ToxicityMildy toxic to humans

However, it only grows for a few weeks before disappearing under the ground, to reform next year.

The plant’s popularity and medicinal usage come from Native American history, where it was used for various ailments and disorders.

Although it has been widely found in homeopathic medicines, the actual medicinal benefit of the plant remains debatable.

Nonetheless, foragers should be aware of removing glycosides in the plant before applying them for medicinal use.

Note: When trying to duplicate this plant, remember to provide a temperate climate with a moist, shaded location, acidic soil rich in hummus, and woodland nearby to encourage the mycelium network.

5 Benefits of Ghost Pipe

Check out some of the Ghost Pipe plant’s unique benefits and applications.

1. Ailment and Pain Relief

Ghost Pipe has been traditionally used for its potential analgesic properties by Native Americans.

Consuming about 1-3 tincture drops mixed with little water is believed to relieve various types of pain, including headaches, muscle aches, and joint discomfort.

However, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim.

2. Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Ghost Pipes may possess anti-inflammatory properties: aspirin-like chemicals account for their analgesic properties.

According to American Herbalists Guide, the plant’s juice mixed with rose water treats ophthalmic, general, and bladder inflammation. 

Consult with your physician to use Ghost Pipe juice in moderation to reduce inflammation.

3. Relaxation and Stress Reduction

American Herbalists Guide points out the usage of plant tinctures in treating childhood seizures (febrile seizures), periodic fevers, and epileptic seizures.

It is believed to have calming properties that help soothe the mind and body, allowing for tranquility.

Ghost pipe juice and tincture
You can make juice or tincture out of ghost plants to use later.

An expert claims the various dosage of plant tincture can ease both physical and emotional pain and has been recommended as an alternative to opiates.

4. Digestive and Sleep Aid

Ghost Pipe tincture and juice have many digestive benefits.

It may help treat digestive disorders, including indigestion, stomachaches, and gastrointestinal discomfort.

Similarly, it is traditionally used as a sleep aid to improve sleep quality; drinking a few drops of tincture or juice can have calming properties.

Otherwise, the tincture dosage and frequency can be raised to 1ml if the effects are absent.

5. Ecological Significance

Encouraging local woodlands can promote Ghost Pipe growth to support the local ecosystem.

Ghost Pipes play a vital role in forest ecosystems. As a mycoheterotrophic plant, it forms a symbiotic relationship with fungi, primarily from the Russulaceae family.

It participates in nutrient cycling and contributes to the balance of forest ecosystems.

Health Considerations to Keep in Mind

Beware of its toxic properties no matter how useful the plant claims to be.

It would help if you took great care when harvesting the plant, which is scarce in some locales.

Experts suggest digging and tincturing the roots, the plant part with the least glycoside composition, while several practitioners suggest tincturing the whole plant.

You should take only a few drops of up to 1 ml of the tincture to see the desired effect.

When used for culinary purposes, the raw plant shares a bland taste, like asparagus when cooked.

ghost pipe toxicity
Ghost Pipe contains glycosides that pose problems to animals. Keep them away from pets.

If you suspect plant poisoning in pets with symptoms such as vomiting, gastritis, irritation, pupil dilation, etc., consult these helplines immediately.

Contact Pet Poison Helpline – (855) 764-7661, the American Association of Poison Control Centers(800) 222-1222, and the Animal Poison Control Center (ASPCA) – (800) 426-4435.

Where to Buy Ghost Pipe?

Due to the strange growth habit of Ghost Pipe, you are less likely to find it in the market.

However, you may still find some sellers specializing in collecting wild Ghost Pipes for retailing and selling as a tincture.

So, here are a few sellers specializing in Ghost Pipes.

Online StoreShipping Details
1. Willow Moon Soaps- Delivered within 7 days
- Available as tincture
2. Etsy- Delivered in 12-20 days
- Available as plant and tincture
3. Arete- Shipped within 1-2 days
- Available as tincture
4. Octagon Farm- Shipped in 3 to 4 days.
- Available as tincture

From Editorial Team

People consider Ghost Pipe herbaceous plants, but there is no scientific proof of those benefits.

Therefore, you should use them at your discretion or consult an expert about the non-fatal dosage and frequency!

Consult with this article to identify Ghost Pipes to avoid mistaking wild fungus for this plant.