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Aristolochia debilis is a fascinating Dutchman's pipe that hails from low mountain thickets in southern China and central to southern Japan. The deciduous wiry-stemmed vine can grow to at least 15' long, but will need something to scramble on. During the growing season, the stems are clothed with heart-shaped green leaves and adorned most of the summer with a parade of small, purple, trumpet-like flowers. The fragrant flowers attract for both butterflies and curious visitors. Not only is Aristolochia debilis great in the garden, it has a secret life as an herbal medicine called Ma Dou Ling. Aristolochia debilis has been used as an energy supplement, diuretic, anti-bacterial and antifungal agent, anti-cancer agent, antiseptic, asthma treatment, snakebite cure, and used to treat hypertension, gastric disorders, hepatitis, pneumonia, and cirrhosis of the liver...I'll drink to that!
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