Asarum canadense (Aristolochiaceae)
WILD GINGER, CANADIAN SNAKEROOT
The dried root is given by herbalists
for flatulent indigestion. Chinese doctors prescribe wild ginger for headaches,
toothache, colds, and bad breath.
Not a ginger, although it smells similar,
A. canadense was used as a contraceptive by
North American Indians and as a stimulant by the early colonists. A native of North
America but also found in Russia and southeast Asia, it grows in moist woodlands.
A fleshy root produces two kidney-shaped leaves and one brownish, bell-like flower.
Root collected in autumn.
Volatile oil; asarin; resin; bitter
Stimulant; increases urine production; relieves wind and colic; induces sweating.
Used in flatulent indigestion. Chinese doctors prescribe wild ginger for bad breath,
cold symptoms, watery eyes, hearing defects, headache, and toothache.
Infusion, finely ground as snuff.