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Common Name: Lesser Dodder
Cuscuta epythymum is an annual plant that can grow up to 1.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine..
Europe, including Britain, from Norway to Spain and east to the Caucasus and central Asia.
Parasitic on heather and gorse[
This is a parasitic species that is devoid of leaves, roots or chlorophyll and so is totally dependant upon its host[
]. A climbing plant, it must be grown close to a host plant around which it will twine itself and which it will penetrate with suckers in order to obtain nutriment[
The flowers emit a remarkably sweet perfume that is especially pronounced towards evening[
Lesser dodder is considered to be a valuable though little used herbal remedy that supports the liver, being used for problems affecting the liver and gallbladder[
The whole plant is antibilious, appetizer, carminative, cholagogue, mildly diuretic, hepatic, laxative and antiscorbutic[
]. A decoction of the stems is used in the treatment of urinary complaints, kidney, spleen and liver disorders, jaundice, sciatica and scorbutic complaints[
]. It also has a reputation as an anticancer agent and as a specific for gout[
]. The plant should not be used by anyone suffering from haemorrhoids[
A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn, by lodging it among the stems of a host plant[