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WILDCAROTSM.JPG (21602 bytes)Photo by Deb Jackson Copyright 2000

Wild Carrot

Daucus carota

Queen Anne’s Lace is the wild progenitor of our cultivated carrot. It still has many of the properties lost in cultivation. If an apple a day will keep the Doctor away a wild carrot a day might keep death itself away!

Other Names:  Queen-Anne’s lace, Bees’ Nest, Bird’s Nest, Carrot, Carotte, Carrot, Wild Carrot, Yarkuki, Zanahoria Wild Carrot, Birds Nest Weed, Devils Plague, Garden Carrot, Bee’s nest plant, Bird’s nest root

Habitat    Biennial herb originally a native of Southern Europe, it has become naturalized throughout the United States and Canada.

Cultivation    Wild Carrot is easy to grow, it prefers a sunny position and a well-drained neutral to alkaline soil. Considered an obnoxious weed by some, it can spread very quickly. In its second year, from a taproot (the carrot) stems grows to a height of two to four feet or more, they are erect and branched, both stems and leaves are covered with short coarse hairs. The leaves are very finely divided-tri-pinnate, alternate, and embrace the stem with a sheathing base. The two to four inch "flower" is actually a compound of terminal umbels, made up of many small white flowers. The central flower of the Umbelliferae is often purple. A ring of finely-divided and leaf-like bracts grows at the point where the umbel meets the stem. Blooming from June to August, but often continues to bloom flowers much longer. Its root is small and spindle shaped, whitish, slender and hard, (tender when young), but soon gets tough, with a strong aromatic smell. Harvest entire plant in July or when flowers bloom, and dry for later herb use. Collect edible roots and shoots in spring when tender. Gather seed in fall.

Properties   Wild Carrot is edible and medicinal, root is edible cooked or raw, flower clusters can be french-fried for a carrot-flavored, quite attractive dish. The aromatic seed is used as a flavoring in stews and soups. Used for centuries as an alternative medicine. 

    This long list of chemical constituents and their activities, contained in Wild Carrot is brought to you courtesy of Dr. James A. Duke and his wonderful website. Acetone, acetyl-choline, alpha-linolenic-acid, alpha-pinene, alpha-tocopherol, apigenin, arachidonic-acid, arginine, asarone, ascorbic-acid, bergapten, beta-carotene, beta-sitosterol, caffeic-acid, camphor, chlorogenic-acid, chlorophyll, chrysin, citral, citric-acid, coumarin, elemicin, esculetin, ethanol, eugenol, falcarinol, ferulic-acid, folacin, formic-acid, fructose, gamma-linolenic-acid, geraniol, glutamine, glycine, hcn, histidine, kaempferol, lecithin, limonene, linoleic-acid, lithium, lupeol, lutein, luteolin, lycopene, magnesium, manganese, methionine, mufa, myrcene, myricetin, myristicin, niacin, oleic-acid, pantothenic-acid, pectin, phenylalanine, potassium, psoralen, quercetin, scopoletin, stigmasterol, sucrose, terpinen-4-ol, thiamin, tryptophan, tyrosine, umbelliferone, xanthotoxin, and a slew of other Vitamins and minerals. These constituents are known to have these activities, Analgesic, Anti-arthritic, Antidepressant, Anti-psychotic, Anti-schizophrenic, Antidote, Anti-inflammatory, Antibacterial, Anticonvulsant, Anti-diabetic, Anti-estrogenic, Anti-flu, Antihistaminic, Antioxidant, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Anti-epileptic, Anti-anxiety, Anti-stress, Ant-PMS, Anti-hangover, Antiviral, Cancer-Preventive, Expectorant, Fungistat, Immunostimulant, MAO-Inhibitor, Sedative, Tranquilizer, Aphrodisiac, Sweetener, Pituitary-Stimulant, and more. Ongoing studies are proving this to be a very valuable plant, useful in many areas of alternative medicine, a few are Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Infertility, Asthma-preventive, most types of cancer, Diabetes, Leukemia, HIV, Spina-bifida, Migraine headache, obesity, and much more, even the common cold. Used as a medicinal herb for thousands of years as an anthelmintic, carminative, contraceptive, deobstruent, diuretic, emmenagogue, galactogogue, ophthalmic, and stimulant. 

    A medicinal infusion is used in the treatment of various complaints including digestive disorders, (soothes the digestive tract), kidney and bladder diseases and in the treatment of dropsy, it supports the liver, stimulates the flow of urine and the removal of waste by the kidneys. A wonderfully cleansing medicinal herb, an infusion of the leaves has been used to counter cystitis and kidney stone formation, and to diminish stones that have already formed. The seeds can be used as a settling carminative agent for the relief of flatulence and colic. 

    Wild Carrot leaves contain significant amounts of porphyrins, which stimulate the pituitary gland and lead to the release of increased levels of sex hormones, and stimulates the uterus. The plant is also used to encourage delayed menstruation, can induce uterine contractions and so should not be used by pregnant women. The seed is a traditional ’morning after’ contraceptive and there is some evidence to uphold this belief. An essential oil obtained from the seed has also been used cosmetically in anti-wrinkle creams. A strong decoction of the seeds and root make a very good insecticide.

Folklore   The name ’Carrot’ is Celtic, and means ’red of color,’ and Daucus from the Greek dais to burn, signifying its pungent and stimulating qualities. An Old English superstition is that the small purple flower in the center of the Wild Carrot was of benefit in curing epilepsy.

Recipe

"Medicinal" tea: To 1 OZ. of dried herb add 1 pint of boiling water steep l0-l5 min. drink three times a day.

Article by Deb Jackson & Karen Bergeron

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Karen Bergeron- Editor- picture

Karen Bergeron - Editor