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Common Hogweed

Updated on April 17, 2011


Herbaceous biennial or perennial.It has large herbal uses.

Swollen rhizome up to 5 cm in diameter with white bone that tends to smell aromatic carrot. Stem glabrous, hairy, cable, up to 250 cm tall, grooved. Leaves highly variable (depending on the subspecies) from palmate-lobed to pennatosette; cauline leaves with thickened sheath and lamina mostly reduced to three segments.

Umbels compound, very large, with 10 to 40 rays unequal; umbrella terminal with hermaphrodite flowers, the lateral flowers male or hermaphrodite and male only. Linear bracts soon deciduous; bratteole present, linear echo. White petals, the outer larger with apex curved. Fruits diacheni, compressed, discoid, flat and winged.


 Widespread in many subspecies in the meadows and woods. Hilly and mountainous. Hlm 0-2500 m. It blooms May to October.

Pharmaceutical Properties

 It contains an irritant and a juice blend of essential oils. Potions are popularly prescribed as a sedative of the nervous system stimulant properties. appetizing, digestive.



Aromatic plant, hypotensive, emollient, antispasmodic, expectorant slightly, acting on digestive tonic, sedative, is considered a stimulant and aphrodisiac is compared to ginseng.


It contains volatile oils and bergaptene a furanocuramina can also contact only, cause photosensitivity and sensitive people, blistering and redness.


The young shoots can be eaten raw in salads or cooked like asparagus.


By macerating the seeds in alcohol you can get a liquor, pleasant taste.


In 'Eastern Europe the leaves are fermented to prepare a kind of beer called "parst" or "Bartsch", while the stalks are distilled from their own or with blueberries, to obtain a kind of grappa. The dried leaves are a food that rabbits are greedy.


 Grass very common and popular during the Renaissance to combat depression. The infusion of the root with the leaves along with saffron is a recipe to combat impotence and frigidity has been known since ancient Egypt. Among the most famous of the classic fragrances include "Amarkinon" and "real Ointment, both compounds were also hogweed.



Toxicological aspects of plants called "photosensitive" (just because they contain furanocoumarins and coumarins): These plants can cause contact dermatitis, sometimes of a certain magnitude and comparable to burns on the skin. Contact with skin may also be short-entity, a simple rub, however, sufficient to produce vesicles and bullae. The active leaders of the spam are coumarins such bergaptene, psoralen, xantoxina other and to a lesser extent, so ubiquitous in the species present sphondylim Heracleum and Pastinaca sativa.


These plants (especially of the family Apiaceae and Rutaceae) contain chemicals capable of picking up light waves electromagnetic radiation. These compounds called furanocoumarins in fact serve as a defense for the plant itself against fungi. If they come into contact with insects or mammals change under the influence of light, their molecular structure, causing the release of free radicals that attack the DNA of skin cells and prevent their normal function. After 7-10 hours of the rash appears, very serious.


Furanocoumarins have been used in past decades to treat certain skin diseases like vitiligo and psoriasis, however, have noted significant increases in malignant tumors of the skin in patients receiving these types of care, which is currently still under investigation .


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    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      I al also amazed at your wealth of knowledge. You really should teach somewhere! Up and Useful of course.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 6 years ago

      Your knowledge of all these plants is amazing. I am in awe.