Spiny restharrow is one of the plants which has caused the most problems to peasants. Its powerful root system can stop an ox plow. Moreover, as Andres de Laguna said, “donkeys (onos in Greek) usually roll around upon it to scratch themselves if they cannot do this in any other way.”
Spiny Restharrow Scientific Facts
- Other names: Restharrow, Cammock, petty whin, stayplough.
- French: Bugrane epineuse.
- Spanish: Gatuna, una de gato, detienebuey.
- Environment: Prevalent in farmed lands and dry meadows all over Europe. This plant has been naturalized to America.
- Description: Vivacious plant of the Leguminosae family, with rigid stems growing up to 40 cm high, from which sharp thorns grow. It has bright pink flowers.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: The root, the flowers, and the leaves.
The hard roots of spiny restharrow contain ononine (a flavonic glycoside), tannin, resin, starch, and saponin. The plant has diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties on the urinary organs. It is recommended for cystitis, urinary infections, kidney stones (it can dissolve them), sand, edema (retention of fluid in tissues), and prostate afflictions.
Its LEAVES and FLOWERS, locally applied, have antiseptic and astringent properties. They are used as rinses and gargles for tonsilitis (sore throat) and compresses for slow-healing wounds (torpid) and skin sores.
How to use Restharrow
- Decoction with 50-60 grams of sliced root per liter of water. Drink three or four cups daily.
- Gargles with an infusion made with 60-80 grams of leaves and flowers per liter of water.
- Compresses soaked in the infusion as mentioned above.
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. 2 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 581. Print.