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The healing power of common hogweed

  1. When they hear the name hogweed, many shivers run down their spines. One thinks of the giant hogweed, whose juice in combination with sunlight can cause burns on the skin. But the common hogweed is edible! Furthermore, the common hogweed has medicinal uses. The root of common hogweed is active in digestive problems, nervous diseases and epilepsy, among other things.


  1. Lace-cap family and wild picking Beware of common hogweed juice Edibility of common hogweed Sugar substitute Use by Dioscorides Naming Common hogweed lowers blood pressure Growing common hogweed Use in traditional medicine

Umbelliferous family and wild picking

  1. Common hogweed is a plant from the lace-cap family. Some foragers will eat anything but umbels because there is one species that you should definitely not eat: the spotted hemlock. Eating the spotted hemlock accidentally can cause death. Giant hogweed is also from the umbellifer family, but this is a striking plant that is more difficult to interchange with other members of the umbelliferous family.

Beware of common hogweed juice

  1. The sap from the hairs of the common bears is very irritating. When you rub your eyes with your finger it hurts and some sources even believe that it can cause permanent blindness. Therefore you have to handle a hogweed with gloves, if at all. The juice from these hairs is just as irritating as that of the giant hogweed. But the plant itself is a lot smaller, so it's easier to handle. What wild harvesters usually do is pick only the young plant; then you will not suffer from irritating hairs.

Edibility common hogweed

  1. Again, it is said that you should stay away from the giant hogweed. If these are located around a schoolyard or children's playground, it is a good idea to call the city office so that they can remove the giant hogweed in question. The common hogweed, however, is excellent to prepare into a meal. The older leaves of this plant have hairs that can cause mild irritation. You can peel the older leaves like rhubarb and eat them; you only eat the broad midrib of the leaf. You can eat young shoots without precautions. The young plant has no irritating hairs and these stems are perfectly consumable in a pasta dish, casserole or on top of a vegetable pancake.

Sugar substitute

  1. In Russia and the Baltic States, the stems of common hogweed are left to dry in the sun until they turn yellow so that white, sweet crystals form on the stems. This sweet substance is very reminiscent of sugar and is considered a delicacy.

Use by Dioscorides

  1. Dioscorides, pioneer of medicine and herbal science, wrote that common hogweed seed may be useful as a medicine for nervous disorders, epilepsy and liver disorders. The seed was mixed with oil and added to a meal porridge of someone who is 'losbol' or who has a 'flu in his head'. People with mental illness accompanied by a headache were put a paste of the semen on the head.


  1. The Latin name we use in science for common hogweed is Heracleum sphondylium. The first part of the name is a tribute to Heracles. The second part of the Latin name means 'vertebrae' and is a reference to the fact that the plant grows perfectly straight. The plant got the name hogweed because the leaves resemble a hogweed and the sap can cause injury. In English speaking countries this plant is called 'cow parsnip' because the root has a similar sweetness to parsnip or parsnip. In Germany the plant is called Wiesen-Bärenklau.

Common hogweed lowers blood pressure

  1. In traditional medicine, common hogweed has long been a plant that is used for high blood pressure. A French study from 2013 investigated the antihypertensive effect. It turns out that substances in common hogweed relax the muscles around the veins. In scientific terms such an action is called "vasorelaxant". This effect makes the veins smoother; it leads to a small enlargement of the vein contents. This allows blood to flow more freely and lower blood pressure.

Breeding Hogweed

  1. If you want to use common hogweed in the kitchen, you can choose to grow the plant yourself in the vegetable garden. He likes moist earth. It is an easy plant to grow; you don't have to worry about it. And if the plant is no higher than 20 centimeters, you can harvest it in its entirety as a basis for a meal.

Use in Traditional Medicine

  1. In traditional medicine, the root and leaf are considered an aphrodisiac, digestive enhancer, expectorant and sedative. Sometimes it is still prescribed for bronchitis and laryngitis. A tincture is given for general weakness. For the activities mentioned in this paragraph there are no studies that could scientifically confirm the medicinal effect.

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