Photos of Aralia racemosa, American spikenard, spikenard.
Aralia racemosa, American spikenard, spikenard is one of six Aralia species indigenous to North America, belonging to the ginseng family (Araliaceae) and have been used as tonics in herbal medicine. Spikenard was an important medicinal plant among native groups in its range. The Chippewa used the root as an antirheumatic, antitussive, and as a poultice on sprains and broken bones. The Menominee also used it as a poultice on sores as well as an analgesic for stomachache and as a blood purifier. Eclectic physicians valued it as a stimulant and antitussive for coughs and irritations of the pulmonary tract and for catarrhs. Rafinesque noted that the juice of the berries and oil of the seeds, poured into the ears, was supposed to cure earache and deafness. It was also used for rheumatism and as a stomachic.
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