Elder, Dwaft, AmericanBotanical Name: Aralia hispida
Family: N.O. Araliaceae Habitat: New England to Virginia.
A perennial, stem 1 to 2 feet high, lower part woody and shrubby, beset with sharp bristles, upper part leafy and branching. Leaflets oblongovate, acute serrate, leaves bipinnate, many simple umbels, globose, axillary and terminal on long peduncles, has bunches of dark-coloured nauseous berries, flowers June to September. The whole plant smells unpleasantly. Fruit, black, round, one-celled, has three irregular-shaped seeds. The bark is used medicinally, but the root is the more active.
This plant must not be confused with the English Dwarf Elder (Sambucus Ebulus).
Medicinal Action and Uses: Sudorific in warm infusion - bark diuretic and alterative and has a special action on kidneys. Most valuable in urinary diseases, dropsy, gravel, suppression of urine, etc. A decoction of the fresh roots and juice are efficacious in dropsy, being a good hydragogue and also an emetic. Dose, decoction, 2 to 4 oz. three times daily.
Aralia spinosa. The berries are used in an infusion of wine or spirits, relieving violent colic and rheumatic pains. It contains the glucoside Araliin.
See also GINSENG