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(Aralia spinosa LINN.)
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Botanical: Aralia spinosa
---Synonyms---Hercules Club. Toothache Tree. Prickly Elder. Prickly Ash, though not to be confused with the better-known Prickly Ash.
Family: N.O. Araliaceae
---Parts Used---Bark, root and berries.
---Habitat---Virginia and Japan.
---Description---Grows from 8 to 12 feet high stem and leaves prickly, leaves doubly and triply pinnate, ovate, serrated leaflets, panicles much branched, downy, numerous umbels of white flowers, blooming in August and September, berries juicy and blackish.
The bark is used officially (is thin and ashcoloured), but other parts of the plant possess medical properties- odour fragrant and peculiar, slightly bitter taste.
---Constituents---Aralia spinosa contains a glucoside Araliin.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---Fresh bark causes/vomiting and purging, but dried is a stimulating alterative. A tincture made from the bark is used for rheumatism, skin diseases and syphilis. The berries in tincture form, lull pain in decayed teeth and in other parts of the body, violent colic and rheumatism, useful in cholera when a cathartic is required in the following compound: 1 drachm compound powdered Jalap, 1 drachm Aralia spinosa, 2 drachms compound rhubarb powder or infused in 1/2, pint boiling water and when cold taken in tablespoonful doses every half-hour. This does not produce choleric discharges. Also a powerful sialogogue and valuable in diseases where mouth and throat get dry, and for sore throat; will relieve difficult breathing and produce moisture if given in very small doses of the powder. The bark, root, and berries can all be utilized.
AMERICAN DWARF ELDER
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Bear in mind "A Modern Herbal" was written with the conventional wisdom of the early 1900's. This should be taken into account as some of the information may now be considered inaccurate, or not in accordance with modern medicine.
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