Canadian Wild Ginger; Asarum Canadense

asarum canadense

Wild ginger was used by Native American tribes as a seasoning and medicine. Historic uses were: to  settle an upset stomach, to alleviate gas, nausea, and fevers. Wild ginger has antibiotic and antifungal properties. 
The roots were used as a ginger replacement. 
There is some discussion whether or not the plant may be toxic in large doses. It contains Aristolochic Acid, a naturally occurring toxin that can cause cancer, mutations in human cells, and end-stage kidney failure. Therefore the use is  meant to be historical Information only. The leaves of the plant are poisonous and may cause dermatitis in some individuals. For more information on toxicity read the links below.

How to grow Canadian ginger:
As a woodland plant wild ginger is grown in shade. Plant in moist, humus rich, slightly acidic, well-drained soil. Add plenty of compost and fallen conifer needles, if available to the soil at planting time.

links:
http://altnature.com/gallery/wild_ginger.htm
http://www.sierrapotomac.org/W_Needham/WildGinger_060430.htm
http://honest-food.net/2012/05/22/wild-ginger-edible-toxic/
http://www.eattheweeds.com/wild-ginger/

Family: Caryophyllaceae

Height + Width:

Frost Hardiness: Hardy in Katoomba

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Soil:

Habitat:

Country of Origin: Eastern Cape of South Africa

Use:

Common names: African Dream Root, Undlela Ziimhlophe (White Ways/Paths), Ubulawu

Links:

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