birthwort(redirected from birthworts)
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Related to birthworts: Dutchman's pipe
Any of various herbs or woody vines of the genus Aristolochia having showy, often malodorous, purplish-brown to yellowish flowers with unusual shapes. The European species A. clematitis was used as a folk medicine to aid childbirth.
A·ris·to·lo·chi·a fang·chi(ă-ris'tō-lō'kē-ă fahng'kī)
An extremely toxic preparation (aristolochic acid is the active ingredient) that causes cancer and hepatic disease; appears in some Chinese traditional medicines and compounds; reported one of the most dangerous of all herbal agents.
[G. aristolochia, easy birth, fr. aristos, best, + locheia, childbirth]