Monday, 9 January 2012


Medicinal Parts
The primary medicinal part is the root of the plant. However, the leaves have been used to a lesser extent.

Flower and Fruit
The end of the stem forms a short-pedicled, slightly hanging flower. The perigone forms a campanulate tube with a 3- to 4-lobed margin. It is brownish on the outside, dark purple on the inside. There are 2 groups of 6 stamens on the ovaries, which are fused with the tube and are flattened above. The style is thick, short and solid; the stigma is 6-rayed. The fruit is a many-seeded, indehiscent capsule divided into many chambers by false membranes. Each capsule contains numerous boat-shaped seeds with a spongy appendage.

Leaves, Stem, and Root
Asarum europaeum is a shaggy-haired perennial growing 4 to 10 cm high. It has a thin, creeping rhizome that is branched and usually has 3 to 4 scalelike, brownish-green stipules. It has an ascending short-scaled stem, with the terminal flower at the tip. There are 2 to 4 long-petioled, almost opposite, broad, reniform leaves. They are entire-margined, coriaceous, dark-green glossy above, pale and matte beneath, deeply reticulate and evergreen.

The rhizome has a pepperlike smell; the leaves and flowers have an unpleasant camphor smell. Asarum europaeum is a protected species.

The plant is indigenous to the northern parts of southern Europe, central and east-central Europe as far as the Crimea and eastward into western Siberia as well as an enclave in the Atai. Asarum is cultivated in the U.S.

Asarum root is the root of Asarum europaeum, which is gathered in August and air-dried in the shade. Asarum is primarily collected in the wild, but is cultivated in the U.S.

Not to be Confused With
Can be confused with other valerian types and with Arnica montana, Genum urbanum, Valeriana officinalis and Viola ordorata. Powder that is not made from Asarum europaeum can be identified by the presence of fibers, stone cells, oxalate filament agglomerations, and the absence of starch.

Other Names
Asarabacca, Coltsfoot, False Coltsfoot, Fole's Foot, Hazelwort, Public House Plant, Snakeroot, Wild Ginger, Wild Nard

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