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Western wild ginger (Asarum caudatum)

Slightly toxic


calming, laxative, tonic, diaphoretic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, stomach soothing

Areas of application:

Cold, flu, inhibit the growth of many strains of bacteria, reduce the risk of infection, oral bacteria that cause gum inflammation and periodontitis, nausea, indigestion, food poisoning, flatulence caused pain, regulates blood sugar levels, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, lowers bad LDL cholesterol, relieves muscle cramps , relieves inflammation and pain, wounds, skin infections

Plant parts used:

root, leaves

Collection time:

root in spring

Leaves from spring to summer

To find:

In western North America, in moist forests. It is a typical herb found in the understory of mixed coniferous forests at an altitude of less than 670 meters (2,200 feet).


Aristolochic acid, essential oils


☕ Tea: 1 teaspoon of chopped or grated root is poured over with 1 cup of boiling water and left to steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Then strain and drink.

The Western wild ginger is a low-growing ground cover that loves the shade. The plant grows from a rhizome and forms two opposite, slightly hairy, heart-shaped leaves measuring 8 to 13 cm. In spring it produces individual reddish-brown flowers with a diameter of 3 to 4 cm. The flowers are easy to miss because they grow under the canopy.

🛑 The leaves can cause an allergic reaction or skin irritation in some people, so you should wear gloves when collecting. Western wild ginger is considered safe in small doses, but it contains aristolochic acid, a toxin that can cause kidney problems or even be fatal in high doses. The plant is not suitable during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Members of the Aristolochiaceae family contain aristolochic acid, which is considered a carcinogen.

The Western wild ginger has a strong aromatic smell that is reminiscent of a combination of ginger and pepper. The root can be used as a spice, but it should not be consumed in large quantities.

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