Asara, Asarabácara, Asaret du Caucase, Asaret d'Europe, Asari Herba, Asari Herba cum Radice, Ásaro Europeo, Asaroun, Asarum, Asarum europeaum, Azarum, Cabaret, False Coltsfoot, Gingembre Rouge, Gingembre Sauvage, Hazelwort, Nard Sauvage, Oreille d’Homme, Public House Plant, Rondelle, Snakeroot, Wild Ginger, Wild Nard.<br/><br/>


Overview Information

Asarum is a plant. The root is used to make medicine.

Despite serious safety concerns, asarabacca is used for bronchitis, bronchial spasms, and bronchial asthma. It is also used to treat coughs, pneumonia, chest pain (angina), migraines, liver disease, and dehydration. Some people use it to cause vomiting. Women use it to start their menstrual periods and cause an abortion.

Don’t confuse Asarum with bitter milkwort or senega. All three are sometimes called snakeroot.

How does it work?

The chemicals in Asarum may have an effect on the lungs. Other chemicals in Asarum might cause vomiting.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of Asarum for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Asarum is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth short-term, as long as it isn’t contaminated with a chemical called aristolochic acid.

Asarum that is not contaminated with aristolochic acid is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large amounts or for longer durations. Large amount of Asarum, even if it is free from contamination, may cause nausea, vomiting, burning of the tongue, diarrhea, rash, and paralysis.

Asarum is UNSAFE when taken by mouth for any length of time if it’s contaminated with the chemical aristolochic acid. This chemical can damage the kidney or cause cancer.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is LIKELY UNSAFE to take Asarum if you are pregnant. It might start your period or cause the uterus to contract. These effects might cause a miscarriage. Avoid use.

Not enough is known about what effects Asarum might have on a nursing infant if taken while breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Stomach or intestinal (gastrointestinal, GI) problems: Asarum can irritate the GI tract. Don’t use it if you have ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease, or Crohn’s disease.



We currently have no information for ASARUM Interactions.



The appropriate dose of Asarum depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for asarabacca. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


  • Cosyns, J. P. Aristolochic acid and 'Chinese herbs nephropathy': a review of the evidence to date. Drug Saf 2003;26(1):33-48. View abstract.
  • Deng, Y., Feng, Y., Sun, J., Zhou, D., Yang, L., and Lai, J. [Study on anti-HPV activity of Asarum heterotropoides]. Zhong.Yao Cai. 2004;27(9):665-667. View abstract.
  • Han, Y., Kwon, E. H., and Kim, S. J. Protection of brain cells against AMPA-induced damage by Asiasari Radix extracts. Phytother Res 2003;17(8):882-886. View abstract.
  • Hashimoto, K., Higuchi, M., Makino, B., Sakakibara, I., Kubo, M., Komatsu, Y., Maruno, M., and Okada, M. Quantitative analysis of aristolochic acids, toxic compounds, contained in some medicinal plants. J Ethnopharmacol 1999;64(2):185-189. View abstract.
  • Hong, C., Qian, L., Xie, W., and Yan, L. [Relationship between serum level of zinc and copper and inhibitory effect of herba Asari oil on proliferation of granuloma induced by implantation of cotton pellets in rats]. Zhongguo Zhong.Yao Za Zhi. 1992;17(4):236-8, inside. View abstract.
  • Jong, T. T., Lee, M. R., Hsiao, S. S., Hsai, J. L., Wu, T. S., Chiang, S. T., and Cai, S. Q. Analysis of aristolochic acid in nine sources of Xixin, a traditional Chinese medicine, by liquid chromatography/atmospheric pressure chemical ionization/tandem mass spectrometry. J Pharm Biomed.Anal. 11-24-2003;33(4):831-837. View abstract.
  • Kim, S. J., Gao, Zhang C., and Taek, Lim J. Mechanism of anti-nociceptive effects of Asarum sieboldii Miq. radix: potential role of bradykinin, histamine and opioid receptor-mediated pathways. J Ethnopharmacol. 2003;88(1):5-9. View abstract.
  • Lee, T. Y. and Lam, T. H. Irritant contact dermatitis due to Indian God lotion. Contact Dermatitis 2001;45(4):237. View abstract.
  • Ming, H. X., Liu, J. J., and Huang, S. Z. [Influence of single leaf Asarum himalaicum on renal function of rabbits]. Zhong.Xi.Yi.Jie.He.Xue.Bao. 2004;2(3):199-202. View abstract.
  • Schaneberg, B. T., Applequist, W. L., and Khan, I. A. Determination of aristolochic acid I and II in North American species of Asarum and Aristolochia. Pharmazie 2002;57(10):686-689. View abstract.
  • Stengel, B. and Jones, E. [End-stage renal insufficiency associated with Chinese herbal consumption in France]. Nephrologie 1998;19(1):15-20. View abstract.
  • Su, T., Qu, L., Zhang, C. L., Cai, S. Q., and Li, X. M. [Studies on pharmacodynamic characteristics of aristolochic acid I in rats]. Zhongguo Zhong.Yao Za Zhi. 2004;29(7):676-681. View abstract.
  • Violon, C. Belgian (Chinese herb) nephropathy: why? J Pharm Belg. 1997;52(1):7-27. View abstract.
  • Zhang, F., Wang, L. X., Luo, Q., Xiao, H. B., Liang, X. M., and Cai, S. Q. [Analysis of volatile constituents of root and rhizome of Asarum heterotropoides Fr. var. mandshuricum (Maxim.) Kitag. by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry]. Se.Pu. 2002;20(5):467-470. View abstract.
  • Jaspersen-Schib R, Theus L, Guirguis-Oeschger M, et al. [Serious plant poisonings in Switzerland 1966-1994. Case analysis from the Swiss Toxicology Information Center]. Schweiz Med Wochenschr 1996;126:1085-98. View abstract.
  • Lewis CJ, Alpert S. Letter to health care professionals -- FDA concerned about botanical products, including dietary supplements, containing aristolochic acid. Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling, Dietary Supplements. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. May 31, 2000.
  • Lord GM, Tagore R, Cook T, et al. Nephropathy caused by Chinese herbs in the UK. Lancet 1999;354:481-2. View abstract.
  • Nortier JL, Martinez MC, Schmeiser HH, et al. Urothelial carcinoma associated with the use of a Chinese herb (Aristolochia fangchi). N Engl J Med 2000;342:1686-92. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.