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Daucus carota

Daucus carota (Umbelliferae)

WILD CARROT, BIRD'S NEST, QUEEN ANNE'S LACE

 

The whole herb, including the seeds and the feathery leaves, has been used medicinally since Greek times. Today, herbalists and Ayurvedic physicians give it for urinary tract problems, colic, gout, and absent periods.

 

Known since Greek and Roman times as a medicinal herb and vegetable, it is native to Europe, north Africa, and west Asia but the fleshier domestic form is now cultivated throughout the world. It is a biennial with finely divided leaves and a hard, thin, whitish root that has a disagreeable taste. In early to midsummer, clusters of small white flowers with a few purple or red ones in the centre appear and then develop into dry flattened fruit.

 

PARTS USED

Whole herb, seeds.

 

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS

Volatile oil in the seeds, including pinene, carotol, daucol, limonene, and gerianol; alkaloid, daucine; in the root, vitamin C and carotene.

 

ACTIONS

Increases urine production; prevents the formation of kidney stones; relieves wind and colic.

 

MEDICINAL USE

Given to prevent the formation of urinary stones, and to treat cystitis and gout. The seeds are useful for colic and flatulence and are also used to promote menstruation. The herb has similar uses in Ayurvedic medicine.

 

PREPARATIONS

Infusion, tincture, seeds.

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