Arisaema triphyllum

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Arisaema triphyllum

Herbal medicine
A herb, the root of which is acrid, antiseptic, diaphoretic, expectorant, irritant and a stimulant. The root has been applied as a poultice for scrofulous sores, rheumatism, boils, abscesses and ringworm; a decoction of the root was once used as a wash for sore eyes, and as a contraceptive by the Native Americans. Powdered root in cold water is said to prevent headaches.

Toxicity
Due to the high content of oxalic acid and asparagine, Arisaema triphyllum causes burning in mouth and throat; swelling of mouth, tongue, eyes, ears, nose and throat; and gastrointestinal complaints, such nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Due to the potentially toxic nature of this plant, it should only be used internally under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.