Aralia hispida. Dwarf Elder.
Nat. Ord. — Araliaceae. Sex. Syst. — Pentandria Pentagynia.
Bark of the Root.
Description. — Aralia Hispida is a perennial plant, with a low stem, from one to two feet high, the lower part woody and shrubby, and thickly beset with sharp, stiff bristles, the upper part herbaceous and branching. The leaves are bipinnate ; the leaflets oblong-ovate, acute, cut-serrate; umbels many, simple, globose, axillary and terminal, on long peduncles, followed by bunches of dark-colored, nauseous berries. It flowers from June to September. The whole plant exhales an unpleasant odor.
History. — This is a low undershrub, growing from New England to Virginia, in fields, hedges, rocky places, and along the roadsides. The fruit is round, black, and one-celled, containing three irregular-shaped seeds. The bark of the plant is employed in medicine, but that of the root is the most active. It yields its virtues to water. It is known in various sections of the country by the names of Wild Elder, Bristlestem-Sarsaparilla, etc.
Properties and Uses. — The leaves in warm infusion are sudorific. The bark is diuretic and alterative. Very valuable in dropsy, gravel, suppression of urine, and other urinary disorders. The juice and decoction of the fresh roots are said to be emetic and hydragogue, and have been found efficacious in dropsy. Dose of decoction, two to four ounces, three times a day.
Off. Prep. — Decoctum Araliae.