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!

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Asarum

Scientific Names

Asarum

  • Asarum Europaeum
  • Aristoloch
  • Asarum canadense L.
  • Aristolochiaceae

Common Names

Asarum Europaeum:

  • Asarabacca
  • European snakeroot
  • Hazelwort
  • Public house plant
  • Wild nard

Asarum canadense L.:

  • Canada snake root
  • Indian ginger
  • Vermont snake root
  • Wild Canada ginger
  • Wild ginger
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    Parts Usually Used

    Asarum Europaeum – Rootstock, leaves
    Asarum canadense L. – Root
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    Asarum

    Description of Plant(s) and Culture

    Asarum Europaeum
    Asarum is a perennial, evergreen plant; a low plant with a horizontal, creeping rootstock and prostrate stem. Two long-petioled, upright, shiny, leathery, dark green leaves grow from each bud on the stem, rising from 2-4 inches above the ground. The large, solitary flowers appear from March to May and are characterized by a green-brown color on the outside, reddish-black on the inside.

    Asarum canadense L.
    Asarum canadense is a perennial plant; the knobby, root of the plant is round and fleshy, with dividing stem supporting a heart-shaped, deep green above and a light green below, soft, woolly and handsomely veined leaf, there being two to a plant. A single flower is small and brownish-purple, growing only a few inches high and covered by the dead leaves that carpet the woods. The taste is pungent and bitter.
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    Where Found

    Asarum Europaeum Grows in European woods
    Asarum canadense L. Grows in rich woods from Maine to Michigan,
    and southward.
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    Medicinal Properties

    Asarum Europaeum – Rootstock: diuretic, emetic, purgative Leaves: cathartic, emetic, errhine
    Asarum canadense L. – Stimulant, carminative, tonic, diaphoretic, diuretic
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    Uses

    Asarum Europaeum – Basic use is emetic. It is mixed with lance-leaf plantain to stop mucus congestion in the nose and respiratory passages. Asarum is too dangerous to be used without medical supervision.

    Asarum canadense L. – Used as an appetite stimulant. Externally, used to ease the pains of gout, remove freckles, as a poultice for snakebite, colds, whooping cough, headache, dysmenorrhea, hysteria, typhus, alcoholism, dropsy, ague, and fevers. Used by Native Americans as a ginger substitute for its flavor.
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    Formulas or Dosages

    Do not boil this herb; boiling weakens its properties.
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    Warning

    Asarum Europaeum – Asarum is too dangerous to be used without medical supervision.
    Asarum canadense L. – Large doses cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Use under medical supervision.
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    Bibliography

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

    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! Culpeper’s Complete Herbal & English Physician: Updated With 117 Modern Herbs, by Nicholas Culpeper, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1990, (reprint of 1814)

    Herbal Gardening, compiled by The Robison York State Herb Garden, Cornell Plantations, Matthaei Botanical Gardens of the University of Michigan, University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley., Pantheon Books, Knopf Publishing Group, New York, 1994, first edition

    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! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

    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

    Buy It! The Rodale Herb Book: How to Use, Grow, and Buy Nature’s Miracle Plants (An Organic gardening and farming book), edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

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