The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!


Scientific Names


  • Arum maculatum L.
  • Arum family

Common Names

  • Cocky baby
  • Cuckoopint
  • Cypress powder
  • Dragon root
  • Gaglee
  • Ladysmock
  • Portland arrowroot
  • Starchwort

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Parts Usually Used

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Description of Plant(s) and Culture


Arum is a perennial plant; its tuberous rootstock is poison when fresh but edible when dried or sufficiently cooked. It is about the size of a walnut and is brown outside, white inside. Arum’s arrowhead-shaped leaves are also poisonous when eaten. Its flowers, which bloom in May and June, trap insects which the plant digests for food.

Other varieties: Wake robin or Jack in the pulpit (A. triphyllum); Dragon or Green arum (A. dracontium)
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Where Found

It grows in moist, shady places, along hedges, among bushes, and in deciduous forests.
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Medicinal Properties

Acrid when fresh, diaphoretic, expectorant
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Only the dried root should be used.

Arum is used mixed with honey or syrup for internal use and as an ointment for external use. Internally, used for bronchitis, asthma, chronic catarrh, flatulence, and rheumatic problems. A 1:1 mixture of arum and sweet flag in powder form is sometimes recommended as a stomachic. An ointment made from arum is useful for sores and ringworm, swellings. Simmer arum with cumin in wine or oil to make a plaster. Only the dried root should be used.
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The whole plant of arum is poisonous. Only the root, dried and/or sufficiently cooked, should be used. Recommended use of arum only under medical supervision.
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Buy It! Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

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