Herb: Wild Ginger


Latin name: Asarum sieboldii


Family: Aristolochiaceae (Birthwort Family)



Medicinal use of Wild Ginger:

Odontalgic, sternutatory. The entire plant is anaesthetic, analgesic, antibacterial, antipyretic, antitussive, diaphoretic, diuretic and hypotensive. It is used in the treatment of colds, severe toothache, rheumatic pain and chronic bronchitis with copious and thin phlegm. This remedy should be used with caution, large doses of the essential oil can lead to death. The root is analgesic, expectorant, sedative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic and purgative. A decoction is used in the treatment of stuffy nose, toothache, headache, rheumatic aches and pains, productive coughing and wheezing. It is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
15 cm
(6 inches)

Flovering:
April
to May

Habitat of the herb:

Coniferous and mixed woods, dense shrub thickets. Forests in moist humus-rich soils at elevations of 1200 - 2100 metres in China.

Propagation of Wild Ginger:

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:

Coniferous and mixed woods, dense shrub thickets. Forests in moist humus-rich soils at elevations of 1200 - 2100 metres in China.

Known hazards of Asarum sieboldii:

One report says that this plant should be used with caution, a reason is not given.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.