Udo (Aralia cordata)

Perennial
A. edulis. A. nutans.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Udo
Aralia cordata
Araliaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    The root is sometimes used in China as a substitute for ginseng (Panax species)[218]. It is said to be analgesic, antiinflammatory, carminative, diuretic, febrifuge, stimulant, stomachic and tonic[218, 279]. The root contains an essential oil, saponins, sesquiterpenes and diterpene acids[279]. It is used in Korea to treat the common cold and migraines[279].

  • Edible Use

    Young branched shoots – cooked or raw[2, 46, 61, 105, 177, 279]. They can be up to 1.5 metres long and have a mild and agreeable flavour[116]. They are usually blanched and are crisp and tender with a unique lemon-like flavour[183]. They can be sliced and added to salads, soups etc[206]. The shoots contain about 1.1% protein, 0.42% fat, 0.8% soluble carbohydrate, 0.55% ash[179].

    Root – cooked[22, 105, 177]. Used like scorzonera[2].

  • 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 good deep loam and a semi-shady position[1, 134]. Requires a sheltered position[1]. Plants are hardier when grown in poorer soils[200]. Tolerates a pH in the range 5.0 to 7.4. Dormant plants are hardy to about -25¡c[187]. 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]. This is a commonly cultivated food crop in Japan, where it is grown for its edible shoots. There are several named varieties[2, 46, 58, 116].
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.