(From α, non. and to adorn J. So called because it was not admitted into the ancient coronal wreath: called also nardus rustica, nardus montana, wild nard, and common assara-bacca. The species in use is the asarum Euro-jiaum Lin. Sp. Pi. 633. Nat. order sarmentacea: aristolochiae of Jussieu. It is a native of the southern parts of Europe and the warmer climes, and raised in our gardens. The dried roots are brought from the Levant, but those of our own growth are nearly as good.
The roots and leaves have a somewhat strong but not unpleasant smell, somewhat like that of nard; and a nauseous, bitter, acrid taste, like arum. They have the same effect as a medicine; but when dry, three times the quantity should be given that is required of the fresh root: from thirty to sixty grains prove emetic and cathartic. In small doses this herb promotes the menses, is diuretic, and sudorific. Spirit of wine extracts all its virtues, and water a considerable portion of them. Boiled in water' its virtues are destroyed, but it is still said to be a deobstruent.
Its operation is harsh, and its use in practice confined to that of an errhine; amongst which class it is found the most useful and convenient. A grain or two of the powdered root snuffed up the nose, procures a considerable evacuation for a long time, without causing the patient to sneeze; and, on this account, it has been found useful in diseases of the head, particularly in the more languid and phlegmatic constitutions. The leaves, though as strong as the roots in all other respects, as an errhine, are milder. The herb snuffs have this plant for their basis. Cullen's Mat. Med.
An ounce of juice expressed from the fresh leaves operates as an emetic in maniacs, when antimonials fail; and it is said to be useful in dropsy and intermit-tents.
The London college directs the following as a sternutatory: Pulvis Asari Compositus. Compound Powder of assarabacca. It consists of equal parts of the dried leaves of assarabacca, marjoram, Syrian mastich, thyme, and dried lavender flowers.
This powder was called pulv. cephalicus.
Asarum Virginicum, called also serpentaria nigra. Black snake weed.
This hath leaves like those of pistolochia, and are spotted like arthanita or sow bread. The roots are brought from Virginia, mixed with the radix serpen-tum Virginian, and are used as being the same.