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Uses

Toxic parts

The root and stem are poisonous[1]. 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[2]. Another report says that it is an active antitumour agent but is too toxic for clinical use[3]. 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[4].

Edible uses

There are no edible uses listed for Aristolochia clematitis.

Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Aristolochia clematitis.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Birthwort has a very long history of medicinal use, though it has been little researched scientifically and is little used by present-day herbalists[2][5]. It is an aromatic tonic herb that stimulates the uterus, reduces inflammation, controls bacterial infections and promotes healing[6]. The juice from the stems was used to induce childbirth[5]. The plant contains aristolochic acid which, whilst stimulating white blood cell activity and speeding the healing of wounds, is also carcinogenic and damaging to the kidneys[2]. The flowering herb, with or without the root, is abortifacient, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, oxytocic and stimulant[7][8][9][10][11]. Another report says that the root is used on its own[6] whilst a third says that either the fresh flowering herb or the dried rootstock can be used[5]. The plant should not be used internally without experienced supervision, externally it is used in the treatment of slow-healing cuts, eczema, infected toe and finger nails etc[8]. Use with caution, internal consumption can cause damage to the kidneys and uterine bleeding[7][8][9]. It should not be used by pregnant women[6].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

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[12]. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 3 months at 20°c[12]. Stored seed germinates better if it is given 3 months cold stratification at 5°c[11]. 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[11].

Root cuttings in winter[11].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Aristolochia clematitis. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Prefers a well-drained loamy soil, rich in organic matter, in sun or semi-shade[13][12]. Succeeds in ordinary garden soil[12].

The plant has an invasive root system[14]. Most species in this genus have malodorous flowers, often smelling like decaying flesh[15], that are pollinated by flies[11]. The insects that pollinate this plant become trapped in the hairy throat of the flower[14].

Birthwort was formerly cultivated as a medicinal plant in most of Europe[16].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Aristolochia clematitis. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Aristolochia clematitis.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Aristolochia clematitis
Genus
Aristolochia
Family
Aristolochiaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
6
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    References

    1. ? Stary. F. Poisonous Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-35666-3 (1983-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.22.3 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    3. ? Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    4. ? Yeung. Him-Che. Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas. Institute of Chinese Medicine, Los Angeles (1985-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.3 Stuart. M. (Editor) The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism Orbis Publishing. London. ISBN 0-85613-067-2 (1979-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.3 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.2 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.28.3 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.2 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Polunin. O. Flowers of Europe - A Field Guide. Oxford University Press ISBN 0192176218 (1969-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.111.211.311.411.511.6 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.112.212.3 Rice. G. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 2. Thompson and Morgan. (1988-00-00)
    13. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.1 Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants J. M. Dent & Sons, London. ISBN 0 460 86048 8 (1990-00-00)
    15. ? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
    16. ? 16.016.1 ? Flora Europaea Cambridge University Press (1964-00-00)

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    Facts about "Aristolochia clematitis"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyAristolochiaceae +
    Belongs to genusAristolochia +
    Has binomial nameAristolochia clematitis +
    Has common nameBirthwort +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has fertility typeFlies +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has hardiness zone6 +
    Has imageIllustration Aristolochia clematitis0.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has mature height0.7 +
    Has mature width0.5 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAbortifacient +, Antiinflammatory +, Antispasmodic +, Diaphoretic +, Emmenagogue +, Febrifuge +, Oxytoxic + and Stimulant +
    Has primary imageIllustration Aristolochia clematitis0.jpg +
    Has search namearistolochia clematitis + and birthwort +
    Has shade toleranceLight shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy + and Clay +
    Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameAristolochia clematitis +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedYes +
    PFAF material use notes migratedYes +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedNo +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
    Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Aristolochia clematitis +, Aristolochia clematitis +, Aristolochia clematitis +, Aristolochia clematitis +, Aristolochia clematitis +, Aristolochia clematitis +, Aristolochia clematitis + and Aristolochia clematitis +