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Cuscuta europaea is a Annual
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine..
Europe to North Africa and eastern Asia.
Open grassy localities, streamsides and hilly areas at elevations of 800 - 3,100 metres in China[
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[
]. It Britain it is found most commonly growing on the roots of stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) and hops (Humulus lupulus)[
], whilst in China it is found mainly on plants in the families Composite, Leguminosae and Chenopodiaceae, though it can also be found on many other herbaceous plants[
The entire plant is used in Tibetan medicine, where it is considered to have a bitter, acrid and sweet taste with a heating potency[
]. It is aphrodisiac, renal and a hepatic tonic, being used to increase semen, to treat pain in the wrist and limbs, vaginal/seminal discharge, polyuria, tinnitus and blurred vision[