Bristly Sarsaparilla (Aralia hispida)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Bristly Sarsaparilla
Aralia hispida
Araliaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    A tea made from the leaves is diaphoretic[222].

    The root is alterative and tonic[257]. An infusion of the root has been used in the treatment of heart diseases[257].

    The bark, and especially the root bark, is diuretic and tonic[4, 222].

    A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh root[4]. It has alterative, diaphoretic and diuretic properties and is considered to be a good treatment for dropsy[4].

  • Edible Use

    A tea is made from the roots[183]. The roots are also used for making ‘root beer'[183].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

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.
Prefers a moderately fertile deep moisture-retentive well-drained loam and a position in semi-shade but also succeeds in a sunny position[200]. Requires a sheltered position[200]. Plants are hardier when grown on poorer soils[200]. This species is especially tolerant of poor dry soils[200]. Prefers an acid soil[184]. Dormant plants are hardy to at least -15¡c[184, 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]. The whole plant has an unpleasant smell[4].
Eastern and Central N. America – E. Canada to Virginia, west to Illinois and Minnesota.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.