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Chinese Asparagus (Asparagus cochinchinensis)

A. cochinchinensis. (Lour.)Merr. A. falcatus. Benth. A. insularis. Hance. Melanthium cochinchinensis.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Chinese Asparagus
Asparagus cochinchinensis

Kills the larvae of flies and mosquitoes[176]. No more details.

  • Medicinal Use

    This species has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years[238]. The dried root is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, antiseptic, antitussive, diuretic, expectorant, nervine, sialagogue, stomachic, nervous stimulant and tonic[176, 178, 218, 238, 279]. It is taken internally in the treatment of fevers, debility, sore throats, coughs etc[238]. It is often decocted with other herbs and used in the treatment of a wide range of ailments including diabetes mellitus[218]. Prolonged usage is recommended for the treatment of impotence[218]. The root is harvested when the plant is dormant and is dried for later use[238].

    The plant has a folk history for the treatment of cancer, modern research has detected antitumour activity and it is now being studied for the treatment of lung cancer[218].

  • Edible Use

    Tubers – cooked[1, 61, 177]. The tubers are up to 5cm long and 2m wide[266]. They are washed to remove the bitterness, the fibrous core is removed and the root is then boiled[46, 179]. It tastes like asparagus[22]. Another report says that the tubers are eaten after preserving in sugar[183].

    The fruit is said to be edible[183]. The fruit is about 6 – 8mm in diameter[200]. Another report says that the berries are harmful if eaten[238].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – pre-soak for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring or as soon as the seed is ripe in early autumn in a greenhouse. It usually germinates in 3 – 6 weeks at 25¡c[134]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a sunny position in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer[K]. Division in early spring as the plant comes into growth.
Easily grown in any good garden soil[200]. Prefers a rich light well-drained sandy loam in a sunny position[238]. Plants are almost hardy in Britain according to one report[1], whilst others say that the plants tolerate temperatures down to between -10 and -15¡c[200, 238]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
E. Asia – China, Japan, Korea.

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.