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Botanical Name:Aralia hispida
Common Name: Bristly Sarsaparilla, Elder, Dwarf
Habitat :Aralia hispida is native to Eastern and Central N. America – E. Canada to Virginia, west to Illinois and Minnesota.It grows on Rocky or sandy sterile soils, Alberta to Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec.
Aralia hispida is a perennial & deciduous Shrub growing to 1 m (3ft 3in). The lower part of the stem is woody and shrubby, beset with sharp bristles, upper part leafy and branching. Leaflets oblongovate, acute serrate, leaves bipinnate, many simple umbels, globose, axillary and terminal on long peduncles, has bunches of dark-coloured nauseous berries, flowers June to September. The whole plant smells unpleasantly. Fruit, black, round, one-celled, has three irregular-shaped seeds. The bark is used medicinally, but the root is the more active.
Prefers a moderately fertile deep moisture-retentive well-drained loam and a position in semi-shade but also succeeds in a sunny position. Requires a sheltered position. Plants are hardier when grown on poorer soils. This species is especially tolerant of poor dry soils. Prefers an acid soil. Dormant plants are hardy to at least -15°c. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun. The whole plant has an unpleasant smell.
Seed – best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 3 – 5 months of cold stratification. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 4 months at 20°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Once the plants are 25cm or more tall, they can be planted out into their permanent positions, late spring or early summer being the best time to do this. Root cuttings 8cm long, December in a cold frame[11, 78]. Store the roots upside down in sand and pot up in March/April. High percentage. Division of suckers in late winter. Very easy, the suckers can be planted out direct into their permanent positions if required.
Edible Uses: It used as Tea. & Drink; A tea is made from the roots. The roots are also used for making ‘root beer’
Medicinal Uses: A tea made from the leaves is diaphoretic. The root is alterative and tonic. An infusion of the root has been used in the treatment of heart diseases. The bark, and especially the root bark, is diuretic and tonic. A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh root. It has alterative, diaphoretic and diuretic properties and is considered to be a good treatment for dropsy.
Very valuable in dropsy, gravel, suppression of urine, and other urinary disorders. The bark of the root is the strongest, but that of the stem is also used. It is a relaxant and mild stimulant, acting with but moderate promptness, leaving behind gentle tonic effect, and influencing the kidneys chiefly. A portion of its power is unquestionably expended upon the uterus, and slightly upon the circulation toward the surface; both of which effects have usually been overlooked. It has a slightly warming, bitter taste, and is rather pleasant to the stomach.
It is mostly used in compounds for dropsy, and is one of the best of its class; but for any sub-acute or chronic torpor of the renal organs, with aching back and scanty urine, it is an agent of peculiar value. In high-colored urine, and in chronic aching and weakness of the bladder, it is equally beneficial. It promotes menstruation a little; and is a good adjunct to other remedies in the treatment of mild leucorrhea, amenorrhea, and other female disorders. It is generally prepared in decoction, two ounces to the quart; of which two or three fluid ounces may be given three times a day. Used warm, it will promote gentle diaphoresis.
A tea made from the leaves is diaphoretic. An infusion of the root has been used in the treatment of heart diseases.
Elder, Mexican (Sambucus mexicana): An infusion of the blossoms has been used in the treatment of upset stomachs, fevers, sore throats, colds and flu. A decoction of the roots has been used in the treatment of constipation. A widely used treatment for fever, combined with equal parts of Brook Mint or Pennyroyal as a tea. A tea of the flowers and/or dried berries acts as a simple diuretic to treat water retention. As a face wash for acne and pimples, use a tea of the flowers. Take as a tea up to 3 times a day.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider