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Botanical Name :Aristolochia debilis
Species: Aristolochia debilis
Synonyms : A. recurvilabra. Hance.
Common Name : Ma Dou Ling, Birthwort, Frail
Aristolochia debilis is a perennial herb growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone 8. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies.
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The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil.
Prefers a well-drained loamy soil, rich in organic matter, in sun or semi-shade. Succeeds in ordinary garden soil. This species is not very hardy in Britain, tolerating temperatures down to about -5°c. Most species in this genus have malodorous flowers that are pollinated by flies.
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°c. Stored seed germinates better if it is given 3 months cold stratification at 5°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[
Edible Uses:Leaves are edible.They are cooked. It is said that the leaves of this species are not poisonous but caution is advised.
Alterative, antibacterial, antifungal, diuretic. Stimulates energy circulation. The fruit and its capsule are antiasthmatic, antiseptic, antitussive and expectorant. It is used internally in the treatment of asthma and various other chest complaints, haemorrhoids and hypertension. The root is anodyne and anti-inflammatory. It is used internally in the treatment of snakebite, gastric disorders involving bloating, and is clinically effective against hypertension. It is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. The whole plant is antitussive, carminative, stimulant and tonic. The root contains aristolochic acid. This has anti-cancer properties and can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Aristolochic acid can also be used in the treatment of acute and serious infections such as TB, hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and infantile pneumonia. It also increases the cellular immunity and phagocytosis function of the phagocytic cells. Aristolochic acid is said to be too toxic for clinical use
Internally used for arthritis, purulent wounds, hypertension, snake and insect bites, and gastric disorders involving bloating (roots); for asthma, wet coughs, bronchitis, hypertension and hemorrhoids (fruits). Indications: heat in the lungs manifested as cough with profuse yellow sputum and asthma. The fruit (Madouling) is used with Loquat Leaf, Peucedanum root, Mulberry bark and Scutellaria root. Deficiency of the lungs manifested as cough with scanty sputum or with bloody sputum and shortness of breath. Fruit is used with Glehnia root, Ophiopogon root, Aster root and Donkey hide gelatin.
Known Hazards: No specific details for this species is known 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
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
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