Comments: The roots of this species have been used for their root beer flavoring, and by Native Americans for numerous medicinal purposes (Great Plains Flora Association 1986, Weiner 1980). This species is collected on a limited basis by local herbalists as a substitute for other members of the ginseng family in herbal tinctures (Robyn Klein pers. comm.). It is used as an ingredient in a tincture for the treatment of asthma (Frontier Co-op 2000). It is also used for rheumatism and various skin conditions, and is considered a tonic and blood purifier. It can also treat chronic lung problems, colds and flu, and digestive weakness (AllHerb.com 2000). It is reported to have much the same medicinal properties as Panax ginseng.
It may be used in other commercial herbal formulas. An internet distributor sells a formula (Echinacea Goldenseal Super Complex) that contains Aralia californica.
Prices for this species were found as follows:
U.S.: $2.00/lb (Ed Fletcher pers. comm.)
U.S., internet: $13.00/lb wild-harvested root
U.S., internet: $3.25/packet of seeds