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Aralia nudicaulis - L.

Common Name Wild Sarsaparilla
Family Araliaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Moist, shady, rocky woods[4, 21].
Range N. America - Newfoundland to Manitoba, south to N. Carolina and Missouri.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade
Aralia nudicaulis Wild Sarsaparilla


http://plants.usda.gov/
Aralia nudicaulis Wild Sarsaparilla
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Aralia nudicaulis is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.4 m (1ft 4in) by 0.3 m (1ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade; Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit;  Leaves;  Root.
Edible Uses: Condiment;  Tea.

The rootstock is used as a flavouring[102], it is a substitute for sarsaparilla[43] and is also used for making 'root beer'[183]. It is also used as an emergency food[177] (usually mixed with oil[257]), having a sweet spicy taste and a pleasant aromatic smell[4]. A nutritious food[207], it was used by the Indians during wars or when they were hunting since it is very sustaining[213]. Young shoots - cooked as a potherb[207]. A refreshing herbal tea is made from the root[183]. Pleasantly flavoured[222, 238]. The roots are boiled in water until the water is reddish-brown[256]. A jelly is made from the fruit[207]. The fruit is also used to make wine[257]. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter[200].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Alterative;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Homeopathy;  Pectoral;  Stimulant.

Wild sarsaparilla is a sweet pungent tonic herb that acts as an alterative. It had a wide range of traditional uses amongst the North American Indians and was at one time widely used as a substitute for the tropical medicinal herb sarsaparilla[222, 257]. The root is alterative, diaphoretic, diuretic, pectoral and stimulant[4, 21, 213, 222]. The herb encourages sweating, is stimulating and detoxifying and so is used internally in the treatment of pulmonary diseases, asthma, rheumatism, stomach aches etc[4, 213, 238, 254, 257]. Externally it is used as a poultice in treating rheumatism, sores, burns, itchy skin, ulcers and skin problems such as eczema[4, 222, 254]. The root is collected in late summer and the autumn and dried for later use[4, 213]. A drink made from the pulverised roots is used as a cough treatment[213]. A poultice made from the roots and/or the fruit is applied to sores, burns, itchy skin, ulcers, swellings etc[213, 222]. A homeopathic remedy made from the roots is important in the treatment of cystitis[238].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Prefers a good deep loam and a semi-shady position[1, 134]. Requires a sheltered position[1]. Plants are hardier when grown in poorer soils[200]. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun[K].

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 3 - 5 months of cold stratification. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 4 months at 20°c[134]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Once the plants are 25cm or more tall, they can be planted out into their permanent positions, late spring or early summer being the best time to do this. Root cuttings 8cm long, December in a cold frame[11, 78]. Store the roots upside down in sand and pot up in March/April. High percentage[78]. Division of suckers in late winter[11]. Very easy, the suckers can be planted out direct into their permanent positions if required.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
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Aralia elataJapanese Angelica Tree, Angelica Tree22
Aralia hispidaBristly Sarsaparilla11
Aralia mandschuricaManchurian Angelica Tree22
Aralia racemosaAmerican Spikenard33
Aralia schmidtiiSakhalin Spikenard20
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Eleutherococcus innovansTaka-No-Tsume10
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Hedera helixIvy, English ivy, Algerian ivy, Baltic Ivy, Common Ivy03
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Kalopanax sciadophylloides 10
Kalopanax septemlobusTree Aralia, Castor aralia21
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Panax ginsengGinseng, Chinese ginseng25
Panax japonicusJapanese Ginseng11
Panax pseudoginsengGinseng, Japanese ginseng13
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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

60200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Garry Taylor   Thu Feb 9 2006

An exellent ref for Sarsaparilla. Can I also include that www.fitzpatricks1890.co.uk is the UK last and original temperance bar that is dedicated to selling high quality Sarsaparilla. Fitzpatricks Sarsaparilla Rawtenstall

Fitzpatricks Sarsaparilla The last original Sarsaparilla Temperance bar in the UK

   Tue Jul 7 2009

I'm an Aboriginal Herbal Medicine Healer from NorthWest Saskatchewan which is in Canada and I do-not agree with the part that states that a professional should always be consulted before using plants for medicinal use, I ask this question if the so called medical physicians are so professional, why is it that their patients are dying left and right from cancer, kidney diseases, heart disease etc. etc.? For thousands and thousands of centuries even before the arrival of the Europeans into North and South America, my people have always used natural herbal medicinal plants for all types of disease with no apparent side effects, my people did not hop into their birch bark canoes and paddle across the oceans to seek medical attention every time they got sick, since the year 2004 I have helped completely heal 25 cancer patients, just by the use of herbs, Why only 25 you may ask my answer to that would be because they believed in Aboriginal herbal medicines and consulted me instead of the so-called professionals. Yours very sincerely; Victor Mispounas Box 268 Beauval, Saskatchewan Canada S0M 0G0 (phone 1-306-288-4479) (e-mail: nativebushking@hotmail.com)

   Sat Jul 11 2009

For thousands of years my people have used the Aralia nudicaulis as one herb in a mixture with other herbs as a cancer remedy and has always been a 100% cure. If you do not believe try it for yourself and find out. Victor Mispounas Aboriginal Medicinal Healer

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