Healing Weeds - Getting a closer contact with the healing world of herbs and wild plants.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Conyza canadensis
Horseweed / Canadian Fleabane
NL: Canadese fijnstraal / F: Vergerette du Canada

Native from North America, this plant made its way all over Europe and many other parts of the world. It may not be the prettiest plant one would choose to keep in the garden, neither is it among the most popular plants in modern herbalism. Nevertheless Horseweed, or Canadian Fleabane, as it is also called, was used by most Native North Americans tribes to treat various illnesses, including diarrhea, fever, running nose, rhinitis, but also used to arrest bleedings or to relieve stomach aches, earaches or headaches. Externally, it was made into poultices to treat burns and sore joints. Roots were used in decoction teas to treat menstrual complaints. Dried and burned as incense it was used to ward off insects.

In today’s herbalism Horseweed is mostly employed where an astringent is required: diarrhea, internal hemorrhage, nosebleeds, hemorrhoids, etc. It has been recently researched for its antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties, including against candidiasis - looks promising!

Further one can still find references of folk usages of this plant to treat cholera, rheumatism, tuberculosis, bronchitis, inflamed tonsils, diabetes, menopausal symptoms, kidney and bladder conditions, eczema and ringworm.

It is an edible plant, especially the young leaves, cooked, can be prepared as potherb, or used in the same way as other dark greens. Because of its powerful medicinal properties, it should be eaten sparingly, not in large amounts. It can also be dried and used as food spice - it gives an aromatic flavour to dishes.

Warning: Skin contact with the plant can cause dermatitis in some people.

More information on Conyza canadensis:

Plants for a Future: Conyza canadensis

Antiviral activity of Conyza canadensis (L)

Antibacterial, antioxidant and cytotoxic activities of extracts of Conyza canadensis

Antimicrobial activities of Conyzolide and Conyzoflavone from Conyza canadensis

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