Herb: Beggar's Ticks


Latin name: Bidens pilosa


Family: Compositae



Medicinal use of Beggar's Ticks:

A juice made from the leaves is used to dress wounds and ulcers. A decoction of the leaves is anti-inflammatory, styptic and alterative. The whole plant is antirheumatic, it is also used in enemas to treat intestinal ailments. Substances isolated from the leaves are bactericidal and fungicidal, they are used in the treatment of thrush and candida.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Annual


Height:
100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

Flovering:
May to
October

Habitat of the herb:

Damp lowland fields and wasteland, North and Kermadec Islands. Moist, open neglected places at elevations of 700 - 2000 metres in Nepal.

Edible parts of Beggar's Ticks:

Leaves - raw or cooked. A resinous flavour. Added to salads or steamed and added to soups and stews, they can also be dried for later use.A good source of iodine. A nutritional analysis is available. Young shoot tips are used to make a tea.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in May. Alternatively, a sowing in situ in mid to late spring can be tried.

Cultivation of Beggar's Ticks:

Damp lowland fields and wasteland, North and Kermadec Islands. Moist, open neglected places at elevations of 700 - 2000 metres in Nepal.

Known hazards of Bidens pilosa:

The roots, leaves and flowers are strongly phototoxic, the achenes weakly so. Substances isolated from the leaves can kill human skin in the presence of sunlight at concentrations as low as 10ppm.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.