seeds of Aristolochia debilis, Dutchman’s Pipe
Aristolochia debilis Samen
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Aristolochia debilis, also known as the Dutchman’s pipe, is one of many plant species of the genus Aristolochia. The plant’s synonyms include Aristolochia longa, Aristolochia sinarum, and Aristolochia recurvilabra. Another common name for the plant is birthwort. The plant has its origins in China and Korea. Aristolochia debilis can grow to a height of 100 cm and expand up to 100 cm across. The plant’s leaves are either heart-shaped or oval and can grow to a length of up to 10 cm. The petals of flowers are either purple or green. Each flower is tube-shaped and bears a round-shaped fruit. Each fruit has holes on its surface with seeds therein. Aristolochia debilis has both male and female flowers. Flies are mostly responsible for the pollination of the plant’s flowers. The plant’s leaves are edible, and one can cook them on their own or add them to other dishes. Many Chinese and Korean communities prize the roots and the fruits for their medicinal value. Such communities have been using these remedies since time immemorial to treat some conditions. Examples include asthma, snakebite, and haemorrhoids. The remedies supposedly have anti-inflammatory, diuretic, alterative, tonic, cytotoxic and carminative effects. Aristolochia debilis contains Aristolochic acid which is not only toxic but lethal in some cases. Moreover, Aristolochic acid is carcinogenic and could lead to debilitating forms of cancer. One should, therefore, either desist from using such plants or consult a doctor regarding its effects. The plant can grow comfortably under both direct sunlight and under minimal shade. One is highly unlikely to find Aristolochia debilis growing on the edge of forests. The plant does, however, grow on the edges of hills and fields. The plant prefers soils that are fertile, well-drained and loamy. The soils should also have high moisture content and be rich in organic matter.
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