Birthwort is the largest genus in the order Aristolochiaceae. It is comprised of some 350
species. Many of these species are very decorative and are widely cultivated. The roots of
some species have been used in folk medicines such as cures for snakebites, for criminal
poisoning, and for other purposes. The genus is also a source of aristolochic acid, which
has been evaluated in China for the treatment of wound and infectious diseases; it was found
to be useful for promoting wound healing in ulcers, burns, and scalds.
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