Botanical Name: Asarum europaeum
Family: Aristolochiaceae
Order: Piperales
Genus: Asarum

Synonyms: Hazelwort. Wild Nard.

Common Name: Asarabacca

Other Common Names: Hazelwort, wild nard, false coltsfoot, snakeroot, wild ginger, hasselurt (Danish), Haselwurz (German), asaro (Spanish), asaret d’Europe (French).

Habitat: Asarabacca is endemic to the deciduous forests of Southern and Central Europe, Siberia, and the Caucasus.

The plant prefers shaded areas and moist humus-rich, calcareous soil.

The plant has become popular as an ornamental plant in many parts of the world with temperate climates, as it is an evergreen and can form a beautiful ground cover.

Found in woods and very rare.

The herbs belonging to this order are chiefly plants or shrubs of a tropical habitat, very abundant in South America; but rare elsewhere.

Asarabacca is a creeping, evergreen rhizomatous soft-wooded perennial plant that grows about 10-15 cm (4 to 6 inches) tall. The plant normally grows in open woodland and waterside thickets, especially in beech woodlands, river-bank, broad-leaved forests and stream valleys. It is a curious plant consisting of a very short fleshy stem, bearing two large, dark-green, kidney-shaped evergreen leaves, and a solitary purplish-green drooping flower.

The flowering occurs between May and June. The bell shaped flowers have three broad petals that are reddish-brown. Because the flowers are usually located under the leaves they are often difficult to detect. After flowering, the formation of a round and fleshy seed capsule follows.


Constituents–-The root and leaves are acrid and contain a volatile oil, a bitter matter, and a substance like camphor. Asarabacca was formerly used as a purgative and emetic also to promote sneezing – but it is now rarely used, having been supplanted by safer and more certain remedies.

Active Ingredient and Substances: The rootstock of the plant contains resin, starch, tannins, flavonoids, aristolochic acid and up to 4% essential oil. The essential oil contains a variety of different substances, mostly asarone (30%), methyleugenol (20%) and bornyl acetate (15%).

Medicinal Uses-–Tonic and stimulant, sometimes acrid or aromatic. The dried and powdered leaves of Asarabacca (Asarum Europaeum) are used in the preparation of cephalic snuffs, exciting sneezing and giving relief to headache and weak eyes.

Mixed with Ribwort, this herb is used to remove mucous from the respiratory passages.

Virginian Snake-root (Aristolochia serpentaria) and other allied species are used as antidotes to the bite of venomous snakes.

The juice extracted from a South American species is said to have the power of stupefying serpents if placed in their mouths; and African species are used by Egyptian jugglers for this purpose.

The British variety is said to be found wild in Westmorland and other places in the north of England.

Other Uses:
Since the plant grows best in shaded places it is now widely used for ornamental purposes as a ground cover or vegetation in gardens and parks.

Asarabacca has also been used as a dye plant and can provide a beautiful apple green color.

Known Hazards:
If the plant is consumed it can cause burning in the mouth, heartburn, vomiting, severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, and kidney inflammation.

It can cause bleeding in the uterus and may have an abortifacient effect. Asarabacca should never be used by pregnant or nursing women.

The essential oil is highly toxic and can cause kidney damage and respiratory system failure. It is corrosive to the mucous membranes and can irritant the skin and can cause blistering.

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.



Paraderris elliptica

Botanical Name: Paraderris elliptica
Family: Rhamnaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales
Genus: Pomaderris
Species: P. elliptica

*Pomaderris kumeraho Fenzl nom. inval., pro syn.
*Pomaderris malifolia Sieber ex Steud. nom. illeg., nom. superfl.
*omaderris multiflora Sieber ex Fenzl
*Pomatoderris elliptica Schult. orth. var.

Common Names:Derris, Yellow dogwood or Smooth pomaderris

Habitat: Paraderris elliptica is nitive to E. Asia – Bangladesh, Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines.It grows in the forest edges, roadsides and along rivers, usually at low elevations but up to 1,500 metres in Java. It can occur as a weed in forest plantations of Acacia, Eucalyptus and Swietenia.

Pomaderris elliptica is an evergreen climbing shrub with woody stems that typically grows to a height of 1–4 m (3 ft 3 in – 13 ft 1 in), its branchlets densely covered with soft, star-shaped hairs. The leaves are egg-shaped or elliptic, 30–90 mm (1.2–3.5 in) long and 15–45 mm (0.59–1.77 in) wide with stipules 2–5 mm (0.079–0.197 in) long at the base but that fall off as the leaf develops. The upper surface of the leaves is glabrous and the lower surface densely covered with star-shaped hairs. The flowers are pale yellow and borne in clusters up to 120 mm (4.7 in) in diameter, each flower on a pedicel 2–5 mm (0.079–0.197 in) long. The floral cup is 0.8–1 mm (0.031–0.039 in) long, the sepals 1.5–2.0 mm (0.059–0.079 in) long but fall off as the flower opens, and the petals are 1.5–2.0 mm (0.059–0.079 in) long. Flowering occurs from September to December.


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
It can also be grown at elevations up to 1,500 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 24 – 30°c, but can tolerate 20 – 36°c. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,800 – 3,500mm, but tolerates 1,400 – 5,000mm. It can survive dry periods of up to 4 months. Prefers a position in full sun or in light shade. Succeeds in most well-drained soils of at least moderate fertility. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 – 7, tolerating 4.3 – 8.6. Plants can commence flowering when about 18 months old. The yield of dried roots is 1,100 – 1,800 kg/ha, occasionally up to 3,000 kg/ha, particularly when plants are trellised. There is a danger of soil erosion during the first few months after planting and again after harvesting, therefore land suitable for this crop should either be flat or only slightly sloping[418 ]. Several cultivars (mostly clones of this vegetatively propagated crop) are widespread in cultivation and have bean selected for high rotenone content (13% of the roots)

Propagation: Through seeds.

Edible Uses: Not known to us.

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is traditionally used for antisepsis and is applied to abscesses and against leprosy and itch, and sometimes as an abortifacient. The roots are used as emmenagogue. The stems are a blood tonic. Rotenone, the active insecticidal ingredient found mainly in the root, has been evaluated as a potential antitumor agent. It is broadly cytotoxic, the growth-inhibiting effect has been demonstrated both with cultured cells and experimental tumours. The roots also contain tubaic acid (0.01% of air-dried root). This compound has shown anti-microbial activity, inhibiting the growth of Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli at high concentrations.

Other Uses:
The powdered root is widely used as an insecticide. It is effective against a range of horticultural pests, such as aphids and caterpillars, and also against external body parasites like ticks, lice, fleas and flies. The root can be up to 2cm in diameter and more than 2 metres long.

Known Hazards: Fairly harmless to warm-blooded creatures, the root is used as a fish poison throughout southern Asia and the Pacific. It is considered the strongest fish poison in South-East Asia. The leaves are said to be poisonous enough to kill cattle.

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.