COMMON HOGWEED / COW PARSNIP


                                                                             Heracleum sphondylium

Hogweed is also very similar to Giant Hogweed. This huge plant (up to 6 m) has a photosensitive juice which will cause burning to the skin & mouth if exposed to light. 

This can cause life-long changes to skin colour & may leave you with permanent sensitivity to sunlight. 


Hogweed shoots have a high vitamin C content.
Recommended as a spinal stimulant, in epilepsy with flatulencygout & skin symptoms.
The plant is used in the treatment of laryngitis & bronchitis.
Used as a treatment for headaches with drowsiness,abdominal spleenic pain.
A tincture made from the aerial parts of the plant has also been used to relieve general debility.
The leaves are diuretic, tonic laxative.
A soothing drink made from the leaves is used to treat colds sore throats.
A poultice of the heated leaves has been applied to minor cuts,bruisessores or sore muscles.
An infusion of the fresh young stems has been used in the treatment of diarrhea.
It has also been used as a wash to remove warts.
The plant has been used in the treatment of epilepsy.
Used as a tincture it's a powerful aphrodisiac & sexual booster.
It's used in male & female infertilityvascular & hormonal impotencelow libido.
It is also used to boost overall body energy & strength,like ginseng.
The stems can be used to treat diarrhea & applied to warts.

The roots & the leaves are aphrodisiac, digestive, mildly expectorant & sedative.

The roots can be used for AIDS, anxiety, asthma, colds, colic, coughs, cramps, epilepsy, flu,headaches, leukemia & sore throats.
They can be used for bronchitis, catarrh, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic inflammation, dyspepsia, flu, general weakness, indigestion, insomnia, kidney problems, laryngitis, pain, spasms.
Hogweed can be used to treat jaundice & its juice can be applied to warts.
They can be applied to arthritis, boils, bruises, gum abscesses, inflammation, kaposisarcoma, nerve damage, psoriasis, respiratory problems, rheumatism, skin ulcers, spastic colon, toothaches, swellings & sores.
Drink dried roots in case of double vision, epilepsy, gas, hiatus hernia, nausea, nervous or spastic colon, paralysis, sciatica & spinal cord problems.
A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of indigestion, colds, stomach cramps, rheumatism, sore throats, TB.
Externally, the root is used as a poultice on sores, bruises, swellings, boils, rheumatic joints, whilst a bit of root has been held on an aching tooth to reduce the pain.

The roots & seeds are antispasmodic, carminative & expectorant.
The seed has been used to treat severe headaches.
The seeds can be used for colic, flatulence, gas & severe headaches.


PRECAUTIONS:

The fresh foliage can cause dermatitis.
If the juice & hairs of the outer skin are left on the face & mouth, they can cause blisters.
This effect is especially prevalent for people with fair complexions.
The sap of the plants when gets on the skin & when exposed to sunlight, gives rise to a very characteristic rash which may be severe & persist for many months.


RECIPES:

The leaves can be poisonous in large amounts.Do not confuse with Giant Hogweed or Water Hemlock!!!
The sap from this plant may cause minor burns or eye problems . 

The young stalks & flower bud stalks are gathered in spring.
Peeled & boiled, eaten raw, steamed, or roasted.
They taste like celery, or rutabagas.
The roots can be eaten cooked.
Very young leaves are used for salad or cooked. They are too strong when older.
The hollow basal region of the plant is cut into short pieces, dried & used as a salt substitute. The leaves can be used this way as well.
Before the flower opens, the flower stem can be peeled & eaten raw, or boiled.
The seeds can be added to salads ripe or unripe.
Stem & young shoots ,raw or cooked are used as a green vegetable, when harvested just as they are sprouting from the ground they are somewhat like asparagus in flavour.
The rind is somewhat acrid.
The leaf stems are tied in bundles & dried in the sun until they turn yellow.
A sweet substance resembling sugar forms on the dried stems & is considered to be a great delicacy.
The peduncles, before flowering, can be eaten as a vegetable or added to soups.

Young hogweed shoots can be cooked & make a great soup.
Older stems need to be stripped.

The young shoots are collected early in the season & the tender young stems, cut into pieces about 15 cm long may be boiled in salted water for about 15 minutes, then drained & served with butter. Apparently they make an ideal accompaniment to meat dishes.

WARNING! This family of plants contains many poisonous species & correct identification is essential before even thinking about eating them.

The seeds have an amazing aromatic taste, a little like cardamom.

Spiced Hogweed Seed Biscuits by Eatweeds


BEAUTY:

The root can be crushed, mixed with water & used as an anti dandruff hair wash.

FOLKLORE:

Hogweed said to be able to break the power of fairies over a child.







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