SPIKENARD ROOT (Aralia racemosa) is an alterative, blood purifier, expectorant, and stimulant. Also known as the ┐Life of Man┐; it has similarities to Ginseng. Used prior to labor, it facilitates an easier childbirth. The American Indians used it internally for backaches and externally for wounds, bruises, swelling, inflammation, and chest pains. It is considered to be a general tonic and stimulant, beneficial for both physical and mental exhaustion. It may be combined with other herbs to purify and build the blood. In cough syrups, mixed with other herbs, it acts as a mild expectorant. The powdered root is used for rheumatism, asthma, coughs, and externally for skin problems.