wild ginger

cornelius(se MI)January 10, 2005

is this (canadensis) edible at all? does it have any of standard ginger's medicinal value? it grows annually in my yard, though it's been 2-3 years since any seed pod, after a dry-weather dieback (my backyard is so shaded that wild ginger can go until frost if water is available summerlong).

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swvirginiadave(z6 VA)

Don't eat wild ginger (Asarum species). Although it's listed in many books as having been used as a substitute for wild ginger, it contains (like many members of its family of plants) aristolochic acid which is toxic to the kidneys and probably carcinogenic. A significant number of people, especially in Europe in the early 90s, developed renal interstitial fibrosis which lead to permanent kidney failure as a result of taking Chinese herbal preparations containing aristolochic acid. Also some of them developed bladder cancer which was thought to be related to the herbal supplement.

So taste if you will, but don't eat it.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 7:48AM
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