What are the therapeutic uses of thorny restharrow?

The thorny bugrane, also called ox stopper, devil’s stool or donkey grass is a plant of the Fabaceae family. It is native to Europe, but is also found in Asia and parts of North Africa. Having become rare, the thorny restharrow grows in calcareous soils, in sandy soils and on slopes.

It is found as much in the prairies as in the high altitudes. Known under the scientific name Ononis spinosa, this plant is especially prized for its medicinal properties. The thorny bugrane is composed of a small amount of essential oils and tannins.

It is also provided with isoflavonoids and various sterol lipids. We find for example β-sitosterol or stigmasterol. The plant is also rich in cholesterol and α-spinasterol. Also, the plant is made up of a glucoside having an antibacterial character called saponin. The latter is one of the main medicinal molecules of the plant. The diuretic effects conferred by the plant are the consequence of a chemical compound: the triterpenoid.

Why use thorny restharrow?

This wild plant is very popular in case ofinternal urinary tract infections. It is mainly the root that is used in natural preparations. It has a bitter taste and a rather unpleasant and nauseating fragrance. Known for its diuretic effects, it effectively drains the bladder and kidneys.

Externally, it is used to help wound healing and eczema. It can cure many skin diseases. The plant also has antifungal, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties. The thorny bugrane allows the blocking of the production of superoxide anions.

She treats the digestion problems and promotes the action of the gallbladder. It is also used in the medication of gout, cystitis, kidney stones and liver problems and rheumatism. The plant is used in the treatment of sore throats, gingival and mouth ulcers, but also against itching.

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How to use the thorny bugrane?

The plant comes in different forms to facilitate its use. It can be ingested orally or applied to the skin.

In case of eczema or angina, the plant is used in the form of a decoction. For the preparation, boil 20 g of dried root in 1 L of water. Reduce to a third and let cool. Use as a gargle every morning.

Take 80 g of dried root and infuse in 50 cl of water for 10 minutes. Do not exceed 3 cups per day.

The use of theessential oil based on thorny bugrane is strictly under medical advice.

The advice of a doctor or your pharmacist is necessary to avoid any risk of overdose.

For this preparation, the fresh plant is macerated in alcohol to obtain the tincture.


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