The dodder plant is a true vegetal vampire. With its delicate stems, it sticks to its victim and sucks the sap until it kills the host. Its favorite victims are thyme, lavender, Winter savory, rosemary, nettles, clover, and hops. Dodder was supposed to acquire the properties of its host, but this fact could never be proven. At present, we have discovered its medicinal properties.
Dodder Scientific Facts
- Scientific Names: Cuscuta epithymum Mur.
- Other Names: Greater dodder.
- French: Cuscute.
- Spanish: Cuscuta.
- Environment: Common in forests all over Europe, it is also found in mountainous, warm, or cold American regions.
- Description: Parasite plant of the Cuscutaceae family, with reddish stem and whitish or pink flowers. It has no leaves, thus lacking chlorophyll, and forms a net of fine stems around its host.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: The entire plant.
Dodder Plant Medicinal Properties
The whole plant contains an amorphous glycoside (cuscutine), resin, tannin, and gum. Internally used, it has laxative and diuretic properties and cholagogue (promotes emptying the gall bladder). It also stimulates digestive processes. Dodder is recommended for people suffering from biliary disorders or gall bladder emptying dysfunctions.
How to use Dodder
- Infusion with 30 grams of plant per liter of water. Drink two cups daily.
- Poultices. Boil 60 to 100 grams of plant per liter of water for half an hour. Grind until becoming a pasty cream. Then apply it to the affected skin area.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. Vols. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 386. Print. [dodder plant]