Herb: Du Heng


Latin name: Asarum forbesii


Family: Aristolochiaceae (Birthwort Family)



Medicinal use of Du Heng:

The root is used in the treatment of goitre, cough, fever and worms. Continued use of this plant gives the body a fragrant odour.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
15 cm
(6 inches)

Flovering:
April
to May

Habitat of the herb:

Rocky ravines. Moist shady places in forests in valleys at elevations under under 800 metres.

Propagation of Du Heng:

Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the summer. Stored seed will require 3 weeks cold stratification and should be sown in late winter. The seed usually germinates in the spring in 1 - 4 or more weeks at 18C. 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 their first winter. Plant them out when large enough in late spring. Division in spring or autumn. Plants are slow to increase. It is best to pot the divisions up and keep them in light shade in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly.

Cultivation of the herb:

Rocky ravines. Moist shady places in forests in valleys at elevations under under 800 metres.

Known hazards of Asarum forbesii:

Although no reports of toxicity have been found for this plant, at least 3 other members of this genus have reports that the leaves are toxic. Some caution is therefore advised in the use of this plant.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.