Herbs & Plants

Aristolochia manshuriensis

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Botanical Name : Aristolochia manshuriensis
Family: Aristolochiaceae
Subfamily: Aristolochioideae
Genus: Aristolochia
Species : Aristolochia manshuriensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Piperales

*Hocquartia Dum.
*Holostylis Duch., Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot. sér. 4, 2: 33, t. 5. 1854.
*Isotrema Raf. (disputed)

Common Names; Manchurian pipevine, Chinese Aristolochia, Guan Mu Tong , Birthwort

Habitat : Aristolochia manshuriensis is native to Manchuria and Korea. It grows on the mixed forests in Korea, eastern Siberia and northeastern China including the area formerly known as Manchuria.
Aristolochia manshuriensis is a deciduous, woody, twining climber that produces unusual apetulous flowers, each of which features a calyx which resembles a dutchman’s pipe suspended on a thin stalk. . It has simple alternate leaves. This vine will typically grow to as much as 15-20’ long (to 8′ in one growing season). Large, leathery, orbicular, cordate, palmately-veined, light green leaves (to 11″ x 11″) are abaxilly covered with white hairs. Each creamy white flower is densely mottled with yellow-green and features a contrasting 3-lobed bronze-red limb at the apex of the corolla-like calyx. Flowers bloom singly or in pairs from the leaf axils in June-July. Each flower acts as a flytrap for insects (flowers are primarily pollinated by flies) that are lured by potent fragrance into entering the calyx where they are dusted with pollen before leaving. Flowers give way to cylindrical dehiscent seed capsules (to 4″ long) containing winged seeds which ripen in late summer. Capsules open basipetally when ripe, releasing the seed for distribution by wind…….... CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation & Propagation : Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Pre-soak stored seed for 48 hours in hand-hot water and surface sow in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 3 months at 20  Degree C. Stored seed germinates better if it is given 3 months cold stratification at 5 Degree C. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Division in autumn. Root cuttings in winter.
Medicinal Uses:
The flowers are diuretic. The whole plant is anodyne, antiphlogistic and carminative. A decoction is used in the treatment of rheumatoid aches and pains. The plant contains aristolochic acid, which is an active antitumour agent but is too toxic for clinical use. The stem treats fever, diabetes; increases flow or urine; induces menstruation; stimulates milk flow in women after labor.

Known hazards: Not much specific details for this species are available but most members of this genus have poisonous roots and stems. The plant contains aristolochic acid, this has received rather mixed reports on its toxicity. According to one report aristolochic acid stimulates white blood cell activity and speeds the healing of wounds, but is also carcinogenic and damaging to the kidneys. Another report says that it is an active antitumour agent but is too toxic for clinical use. Another report says that aristolochic acid has anti-cancer properties and can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiotherapy and that it also increases the cellular immunity and phagocytosis function of the phagocytic cells.

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.

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