Texas Dutchman’s Pipe (Aristolochia reticulata)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Texas Dutchman's Pipe
Aristolochia reticulata
Aristolochiaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    The root is aromatic, bitter, diaphoretic, stimulant and stomachic[4, 61].

    The dried rhizome of Aristolochia reticulata is sometimes sold as serpentary for the treatment of snakebites[274]. It is used as a tonic to calm the stomach, promote urination, and increase perspiration. The active ingredient is aristolochic acid, a potent gastric irritant that, in large doses, can cause respiratory paralysis[270].

  • Edible Use

    None known

  • Cautionary Notes

    We have no specific details for this species but most members of this genus have poisonous roots and stems[179]. The plant contains aristolochic acid, this has received rather mixed reports on its toxicity. According to one report aristolochic acid stimulates white blood cell activity and speeds the healing of wounds, but is also carcinogenic and damaging to the kidneys[254]. Another report says that it is an active antitumour agent but is too toxic for clinical use[218], causing gastric irritation and, in large doses, respiratry failure[274]. Another report says that aristolochic acid has anti-cancer properties and can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiotherapy and that it also increases the cellular immunity and phagocytosis function of the phagocytic cells[176].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Pre-soak stored seed for 48 hours in hand-hot water and surface sow in a greenhouse[134]. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 3 months at 20¡c[134]. Stored seed germinates better if it is given 3 months cold stratification at 5¡c[200]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Division in autumn[200]. Root cuttings in winter[200].
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it could succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a well-drained loamy soil, rich in organic matter, in sun or semi-shade[1, 134, 200]. Succeeds in ordinary garden soil[134]. Most species in this genus have malodorous flowers that are pollinated by flies[200].
Southern N. America – Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.

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.