Herb latin name: Arisaema tortuosum


Synonyms: Arisaema curvatum, Arum tortuosum


Family: Araceae (Arum Family)



Medicinal use of Arisaema tortuosum:

The roots have been used as a vermifuge in cattle. The juice of the tubers is applied to the wounds of cattle in order to kill any parasites. The dried powdered tubers is applied to snake bites. The seeds have been mixed with salt and used to treat colic in sheep.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
60 cm
(2 feet)

Flovering:
May to
June

Habitat of the herb:

Forests, shrubberies and open slopes to 3000 metres. Moist shady places at elevations of 1500 - 2200 metres in Nepal.

Edible parts of Arisaema tortuosum:

Tuber - it must be thoroughly dried or cooked before being eaten. The tubers are boiled and eaten in Nepal, mixed with lime juice (Citrus aurantifolia) or another sour substance. The tubers are buried in masses in pits until acetous fermentation takes place, they are then dug up, washed and cooked, by which means their acrimonious principles are in part dispersed. However, violent illness has still been known to follow a hearty meal of the tubers. See also the notes above on toxicity.

Other uses of the herb:

The tubers have insecicidal properties.

Propagation of Arisaema tortuosum:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a shady position in a cold frame. Stored seed remains viable for at least a year and can be sown in spring in the greenhouse but it will probably require a period of cold stratification. Germination usually takes place in 1 - 6 months at 15C. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least a coupe of years until the corms are more than 20mm in diameter. Plant out into their permanent positions whilst they are dormant. Division of tubers when the plant dies down in late summer.

Cultivation of the herb:

Forests, shrubberies and open slopes to 3000 metres. Moist shady places at elevations of 1500 - 2200 metres in Nepal.

Known hazards of Arisaema tortuosum:

The plant contains calcium oxylate crystals. These cause an extremely unpleasant sensation similar to needles being stuck into the mouth and tongue if they are eaten but they are easily neutralized by thoroughly drying or cooking the plant or by steeping it in water.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.