European hoof

Popular names: emetic root, hare leaf, hernia.

Parts used: rhizome, in folk medicine – and fresh leaves.

Pharmacy name: hoof rhizome – Asari rhizoma (formerly: Radix Asari).

Botanical description. At the hoof, green, kidney-shaped, mirror-shiny, long-leaved leaves are also striking in winter. New leaves grow in spring from the axils of the scaly leaves of the creeping branched rhizome. The stem, as in youth and the whole plant, is a little shaggy-hairy. In the axils of the leaves sit inconspicuous brown-red, somewhat drooping single flowers in the shape of a bell. Blooms in April-May. Anyone who knows the hoof will confirm that it is very common. It grows quite secretly in shrubs, deciduous forests and shady ravines, but sometimes it is also found near fences, on forest edges.

Active ingredients: essential oil with asarone – a substance like camphor, tannins, flavonoids, sugar, resin, starch.

Healing action and application. Doctors use the hoof a little, if not to say that they do not use it at all. Although in Switzerland it is still used for medicinal purposes, and primarily because of its property to induce vomiting. But there are safer remedies for cases when you need to empty your stomach: for example, drink a solution of table salt (1-2 tablespoons per glass of warm water).

Use in homeopathy. Homeopathic initial tincture of Asarum is prepared from fresh rhizome and various dilutions (not lower than D 1 ) are used for evening “hot flashes”, nervous exhaustion, cold hands, colds.

Application in folk medicine.In ancient times, hoof was used against dropsy, sciatica, with scanty menstruation, and as a laxative. The Romans passed on their knowledge of this plant through the Alps. As in the “Chapters of Life” of Charlemagne and Louis the Pious, as well as in the “Physics” of the abbess Hildegard von Bingen and Albert the Great, we can read about the action of the hoof. The later herbalists Fuchs (Basel, 1543), Matthiolus (Prague, 1563) and all following recommend it for dropsy, constipation, headache, and menstrual complaints. In these cases, traditional medicine still uses it today. Cleft hoof extract was added to the drink to induce alcohol withdrawal. There is nausea leading to vomiting. Here, however, I would like to give a serious warning, as the irritating action of the hoof can lead to damage to the intestines, gallbladder,

Side effects. Clefthoof should never be used for self-healing! Overdose traditionally damages the stomach and intestines (vomiting), gallbladder, liver, and kidneys.

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