American Wild Carrot and Relatives Family: Apiaceae/Umbelliferae (Parsley) Latin Name

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American Wild Carrot and Relatives

Family: Apiaceae/Umbelliferae (Parsley)
Latin Name: Daucus pusillus Michx.

(Also Known As): (1:Online)

D. scadiophylus Raf.

D. brevifolius Raf.

D. brevifolius Raf. var filiformis Raf.

D. fetidus Raf.

D. microphyllus Hook

D. montevidensis Link ex Spreng.

D. pusillus Michx. var. microphyllus (Hook.) Torr. & A.Gray

D. pusillus Michx. var. scaber Torr. & A.Gray
Common Names: D. pusillus: American Wild Carrot, Rattlesnake Weed (2:Online).
D. carota L.: Queen Anne’s Lace, Bee’s Nest, Bird’s Nest, Carot,

Carotte, Carrot, Wild Carrot, Yarkuki, Zanahoria Wild Carrot, Bird’s Nest Weed, Devil’s Plague, Garden Carot, Bee’s Nest Plant, Bird’s Nest Root (3:Online).

Djene Racene, Gaizer, Havuc, Hawach, Hu Lo Po, Huang Lo Po, Hung Lo Po, Jezar, Mohrrube, Yurkuki (4:online).

Native American Names: Could not find yet.
Related Species: Daucus carota is introduced from Europe. The wild carrot and the cultivated carrot are the very same plant, the difference being that the cultivated variety ( D. carota var sativa ) has been carefully selected and bred. A cultivated variety reverts very quickly to the “wild” type – one year is enough (5:150). There is very little information on medical uses and bioactive constituents of D. pusillus whereas D. carota has been very well documented. I will present data from both species in this monograph in the hope that both plants share many characteristics. Future research will decide the issue.


Botanical Description: D. pusillus Quoted from (6:0nline). Pictures are in Appendix A.

Habit: Herb. Annual

Size: 3-8 dm. high

Branching: Simple or few-branched, retrorsely papillate-hispid

Leaves: Blades 3-10 cm. long, pinnately-decompound into small narrow

ultimate divisions; peduncles 1-4 dm. long; rays unequal; invol. of leafy pinnately

divided bracts.

Flowers: White, 5-petalled, arranged in compact umbels.

Fruit: Oblong, 3-5 mm. long, the commissure with 2 rows of stiff bristles.

Bark: N/A

Twigs: N/A
Botanical Description: D. carota Quoted from Grieve, slightly edited (7:Online).

Habit: Herb. Biennial.

Size: Two to four feet or more, counting the flowering stalk.

Branching: The stems are erect and branched, generally about 2 feet high, tough

and furrowed. Both stems and leaves are more or less clothed with stout coarse


Leaves: The leaves are very finely divided, the lowest leaves considerably

larger than the upper; their arrangement on the stem is alternate, and all the

leaves embrace the stem with the sheathing base.

Flowers: The blossoms are densely clustered together in terminal umbels, or flattened heads, in which the flower-bearing stalks of the head all arise from one point in rays, like the ribs of an umbrella, each ray again dividing in the case of the Carrot, in like manner to form a secondary umbel, or umbellule of white flowers, the outer ones of which are irregular and larger than the others. The Wild Carrot is in bloom from June to August, but often continues flowering much longer.. The flowers themselves are very small, but from their whiteness and number, they form a conspicuous head nearly flat while in bloom, or slightly convex, but as the seeds ripen, the umbels contract, the outer rays, which are to begin with 1 to 2 inches long, lengthening and curving inwards, so that the head forms a hollow cup hence one of the old popular names for the plant - Birds' Nest.

Fruit: The fruit is slightly flattened, with numerous bristles arranged in five rows. King’s Dispensary (16:Online) gives this description: Fruit small, oval, somewhat compressed, and pale dull-brown; the half-fruits or mericarps with the 5 primary ridges, filiform and bristly, the 3 middle ones at the back, the lateral on the plane of the commissure; the 4 secondary equal, more prominent, winged, and split into a single row of spines. The vittae are solitary in the channels below the secondary ridges


Ecology: D. pusillus

Habitat: Sunny, dry, well drained soils, often in disturbed places (6:Online).
Range: Southern half of United States from Virginia west to California. Along Pacific coast from California to British Columbia, Canada. Northern Mexico (8:Online).
Native Where: Same as above.
Places/Dates Observed/Description: No personal experience.
Ecology: D. carota

Habitat: “It prefers a sunny position and a well-drained neutral to alkaline

Soil.” (3:Online).

Range: Britain, near the sea in greatest abundance, and in waste places throughout Europe, Russian Asia, America, and is even found in India.” (7:Online).

Native Where: “Probably originally a native of the sea-coasts of Southern Europe degenerated into its present wild state, but of very ancient cultivation” (Ibid).
Places/Dates Observed/Description: I have seen it all my life in Michigan,

Tennessee and Washington state. I have used the seeds to season soups and stews, but have only come to truly appreciate it just now, as a result of researching this monograph.


Indigenous and Non-Western Use/Significance/Relationships:

D. pusillus

Food: Nez Perce: “Wild carrot (Daucus pusillus) was also an important root. It was dug during June and July. It was eaten raw or dried, or ground and made into a porridge or finger cakes.” (9:Online)

The Clallam, Cowichan, Navajo, Saanich and Salish also have eaten the fresh root or dried it for winter use (10:Online).

Materials/Technology: None found.

Medicine: ~ (10:Online)

Indigenous Group: Coastanoan

Part Used: Decoction of plant

Medicinal Actions: Blood medicine, cold remedy, dermatological aid, febrifuge, snake bites.

Indications: Colds, fevers, irritated skin, bitten by snake.

Body System Associations: Blood, skin, upper respiratory, lungs.

Energetics: N/A

Harvest: Not stated

Storage: Not stated.

Preparation: Boil plant.

Pharmacy: Not stated.

Cautions: Not stated.



Indigenous Group: Miwok

Part Used: Leaves

Medicinal Actions: Snake bite remedy

Indications: Guess

Body System Associations: Blood, skin.

Energetics: N/A

Harvest: Not stated

Storage: Not stated

Preparation: Chew plant

Pharmacy: Poultice




Delfina Cuero, a Kumeyaay or Southern Diegueno Indian, made the following comments about Daucus pusillus in her autobiography: "Boil whole plant and use as medicine for a toothache; also for fevers, drink as a tea." (Shipek 89).

Other: (10:Online)

Mendocino Indian Other (Good Luck Charm)

Used as a talisman in gambling.

Indigenous and Non-Western Use/Significance/Relationships:

D. carota

Food: The Haisla, Hanaksiala, Kitasoo, Oweekeno, Sanpoil, and Nespelem have eaten the root for food. (10:Online)

Materials/Technology: None found.

Medicine: ~ (10:Online)

Indigenous Group: Cherokee

Part Used: Not stated

Medicinal Actions: Dermatological Aid

Indications: Swelling

Body System Associations: Skin

Energetics: N/A

Harvest: Not stated

Storage: Not stated

Preparation: Infusion

Pharmacy: Wash

Cautions: Not stated



Indigenous Group: Delaware, Oklahoma, Mohegan

Part Used: Full-blooming blossoms

Medicinal Actions: Diabetes

Indications: Diabetes

Body System Associations: Blood, liver

Energetics: N/A

Harvest: Pick Blossoms

Storage: Not stated

Preparation: Infusion

Pharmacy: Wash

Cautions: Not stated


Indigenous Group: Iroquois

Part Used: Root (except “plant” for gynecological aid)

Medicinal Actions: Blood medicine, dermatological Aid, appetite stimulant, diuretic, gynecological aid.

Indications: Blood disorder, pimples and paleness, poor appetite, diuretic, fallen womb.

Body System Associations: Blood, skin, digestive, bladder and kidney, female reproductive.

Energetics: Not stated.

Harvest: Not stated.

Storage: Not stated

Preparation: Decoction of roots (except not stated for Fallen womb)

Pharmacy: Drink (except not stated for fallen womb)

Cautions: Not stated


Indigenous Group: Micmac

Part Used: Leaves

Medicinal Actions: Purgative

Indications: Constipation

Body System Associations: Bowels

Energetics: Not stated

Harvest: Not stated

Storage: Not stated

Preparation: Not stated

Pharmacy: Not stated

Cautions: Not stated


Indigenous Group: Chinese

Part Used: Not stated

Medicinal Actions: Dysentery, vermifuge, aperitif, carminative

Indications: Diarrhea, worms, poor appetite, gas

Body System Associations: Digestive

Energetics: Not stated

Harvest: Not stated

Storage: Not stated

Preparation: Not stated

Pharmacy: Not stated

Cautions: Not stated


Indigenous Group: Turkish

Part Used: Not Stated

Medicinal Actions: Abortifacient, aperient, aphrodisiac, deobstruent, diuretic, nervine, stomachic, tonic, vermifuge,

Indications: Unwanted fertility, poor appetite, lack of sexual drive, blockages, nervous, upset stomach, listless, worms.

Body System Associations: Reproductive, digestive, kidney and bladder, nerves, general.

Energetics: Not stated

Harvest: Not stated

Storage: Not stated

Preparation: Not stated

Pharmacy: Not stated

Cautions: Not stated


Indigenous Group: Haitians/Dominican Republicans

Part Used: Not stated

Medicinal Actions: Anti-diarrhea, liver healer, anti-malaria, rejuvenation, tonic, stomachic

Indications: Diarrhea, jaundice, malaria, fatigue, indigestion

Body System Associations: Digestive, liver, blood, general

Energetics: Not given

Harvest: Not given

Storage: Not given

Preparation: Not given

Pharmacy: Not given

Cautions: Not given



Western (European-American) Uses/Relationships:

D. carota only. D. pusillus not used.

Food: Wide spread use of D. carota var. sativa as nutritious “functional food”.

Wild Carrot root is edible cooked or raw, flower clusters can be french-fried for a carrot-flavored, quite attractive dish. The aromatic seed is used as a flavoring in stews and soups (3:Online). A very tasty tea can be made from a 50/50 mixture of 1 tbs. each crushed anise and wild carrot seeds infused in a cup of water (5:153).You can make “rattlesnake weed brew” from the roots of the wild carrot. This is prepared by drying, grinding, and then roasting a few Daucus roots. Add hot water to a palm full of the roasted roots and let it steep for about 15 minutes before drinking. Delicious!” (11:Online)

Materials/Technology: (11:Online)

Carrot Soap is easy to make. The Beta Carotene in carrots makes it very good for your skin, the lather is lovely and creamy, and the orange colour of the soap itself is beautiful.

All you need is 4 ounces of carrot juice, 10 ounces Palm Oil, 4 ounces Coconut Oil, 2 ounces Olive Oil, 2 ounces lye, 4 ounces water. (Lye is water alkanised for use in washing – available at chemists)

Mix the lye and water and set aside to cool. Melt the oils together, set aside to cool. Once cooled gently pour lye into oils. Add juice to mixture, stirring constantly. Mix until soap traces, pour into prepared moulds, allow to stand covered for 48 hours. Remove from moulds, cut as needed, and allow to age open to the air for 3 weeks.

Fashionable Carrot Jewellery

Nordstroms love this vegetable fashion statement: Wash some carrots and cut them into 1/4-inch round slices. Thread a heavy duty needle with dental floss and slip the carrot slices onto the floss by pushing the needle into the centre of each slice.

Once you've strung enough carrots, tie the ends together to form a necklace. Lay it on paper in a dark place with ventilation, making sure the slices don't touch each other. As they dry, they turn into wrinkled beads. Drying takes about a week.

Carrots make antifreeze!!

A team of plant biologists at the University of York  (England) have isolated the first plant antifreeze protein. The naturally occurring 'antifreeze' in carrots might lead to improved frozen foods, more efficient freezing of tissue for medical use and better frost tolerance for crops.

The discovery of the antifreeze protein by a team from the Plant Stress Response Group led by Professor Dianna Bowles, is reported in the international journal, "Science"

"Antifreeze proteins act in a different way to the antifreeze you put in your car radiator," said Maggie Smallwood the senior scientist involved in the project. "These proteins specifically bind to ice crystals and stop them growing." The stress response team showed that extracts from carrots which had been growing under cold conditions could prevent ice crystal growth. They went on to purify the protein which kept the ice crystals small and identify the gene which encoded the protein. They transferred the gene into a model plant which does not normally express antifreeze activity and showed that extracts from these plants stopped ice crystals growing.

Dawn Worrall, a postdoctoral scientist working on the project, pointed out that much of the damage which plants and other organisms experience when they freeze is due to the growth of ice crystals over time. "Large ice crystals disrupt tissue structure more than small ones and regulation of ice crystal growth may be important to survival of a carrot root in the field over winter," she said.

Professor Dianna Bowles expects the carrot antifreeze protein to have a number of potential applications. "Simple natural extracts from carrots may be useful in enhancing the quality of frozen food products and prolong their life in the domestic freezer," she says. "The pure carrot protein might also prove to be useful in cryoprotection (freezing) of medical tissues. In addition, transfer of the gene into temperate crop species may increase their frost tolerance and widen their season or region of cultivation. Similarly there may be applications for horticultural species that suffer from early frosts."

The antifreeze protein discovered in this study is produced by a carrot plant: it is an example of a commercially important product that can be grown in a 'plant factory'. Plants can be used to produce large quantities of industrial or speciality chemicals in a highly energy-efficient manner. Researchers in the Plant Laboratory at the University of York are exploring the potential of this environmentally friendly technology to manufacture products for a wide range of industries.

Medicine: 1652 Culpeper (12:Online)
CARROTS. (page 28)

(Listed as under the astrological influence of Mercury)

“The Garden kind are so wel known that they need no Description; but because they are of less Physical use than the Wild kind (as indeed almost in all Herbs the Wild are most effectual in Physick, as being more powerful in operation then the Garden kinds) I shal therfore briefly describe the Wild Carrot.


It groweth in a manner altogether like the Tame, but that the Leavs and Stalks are somwhat whiter and rougher: The Stalks bear large tufts of white Flowers, with deep Purple spot in the middle, which are contracted together when the Seed begins to ripen, that the middle part being hollow and low, and the outer Stalks rising high, maketh the whol Umbel to shew like a Birds-Nest. The Root is smal, long, and hard, unfit for meat, being somwhat sharp and strong.


The Wild kind groweth in divers parts of this Land plentifully by the Fields sides, and in untilled places.


They flower and seed in the end of Summer.

The Vertues.

The Wild kind, breaketh Wind, and removeth Stitches in the Sides, provoketh Urin and Womens Courses, and helpeth to break and expel the Stone: The Seed also of the same worketh the like effect, and is good for the Dropsie, and those whose Bellies are swollen with Wind; helpeth the

[EDGENOTE:] Wind, Stitches, provokes Urin and the Terms, Stone, Dropsie, Chollick, Barrenness, Ulcers.

Chollick, the Stone in the Kidnies, and the rising of the Mother, being taken in Wine, or boyled in Wine and taken; and helpeth Conception. The Leavs being applied with Honey to running Sores or Ulcers, doth clense them.

I suppose the Seeds of them perform this better than the Roots; And though Galen commend Garden Carrots highly, to break Wind; yet experience teacheth that they breed it first; and we may thank Nature for expelling it, not they: The Seeds of them expel Wind indeed, and so mend what the Root marreth.”

Medicine: U.S.P. 1820-1870 Culbreth (13:Online)

Part Used: Carrot seed was once an official U.S. drug plant.

Medicinal Actions: Stimulant, diuretic, excitant, dropsy, strangury, nephritic affections, amenorrhea, ulcers, eczema, itching.

Indications: Fatigue, slow and/or painful urination, scant menstruation, skin problems.

Body System Associations: Nervous system, bladder, kidneys, and urethra, female reproductive system, skin.

Constituents: Volatile oil, fixed oil.

Harvest: Not stated

Storage: Not stated

Preparation: Infusion, fluid extract.

Pharmacy: gr. 10-30 (0.6-2 Gm.).

Other: N/A.

Cautions: None given.


Medicine: 1898 Felter (King’s American Dispensatory) (16:Online)

Part Used: Seeds and root

Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—Both the root and seeds are mildly stimulant and diuretic. Used in infusion with much success, in dropsy, chronic nephritic affections, and gravel. Also as a carminative, and to relieve strangury from cantharides. Carrot is said to possess emmenagogue properties, and the juice is reputed to relieve pruritis, accompanying some forms of skin disease. Externally, scraped or grated, it forms an excellent application as a poultice to phagedenic, cancerous, malignant, and indolent ulcers—relieving the pain, correcting the fetor, lessening the discharge, and altering the morbid condition of the parts. Dose of the infusion (j to water Oj), from 2 to 4 fluid ounces, 3 or 4 times daily; of the powdered seeds, 20 to 60 grains.

Chemical Composition.—According to Wackenroder, the expressed juice of carrot root contains fixed oil, with some volatile oil, a coloring matter termed by him carotin, uncrystallizable sugar, with some starch and malic acid, mannit, albumen, and ashes composed of salts of aluminum, calcium, and iron. It also contains pectose, a substance insoluble in water, alcohol, or ether, which gives the hardness to green fruits, and which may be converted into pectin. The volatile oil is of sp. gr. 0.8863 at 12.2° C. (54° F.), is very soluble in alcohol or ether, less so in water, is colorless, and has the odor and strong taste of carrots. Carotin (C18H24O, according to Husemann), is a ruby-red, crystalline, tasteless, odorless, neutral substance, heavier than water, fusible, combustible, soluble in fixed and volatile oils, benzol, and carbon disulphide, slightly so in alcohol, chloroform, and other, insoluble in water; and its solutions are not decolorized by solar light. The solution in carbon disulphide is blood-red, and yields carotin as a precipitate upon the addition of alcohol. It undergoes a complete change when exposed to light, becoming colorless and amorphous, and much less soluble in carbon disulphide, but easily soluble in alcohol and ether (Husemann).

Another body, in the juice of the root, was investigated by A. Husemann, in 1860, named by him hydrocarotin (C18H30O), which is the same substance as that found by Brimmer in angelica root. From hot alcohol it crystallizes upon cooling in silky, colorless crystals, devoid of taste. Arnaud also obtained a body related to cholesterin, differing but little from the animal product of that name, but agreeing with the phytosterin obtained from the calabar bean (Comptes Rendus, cii, 1319). After repeated alcoholic purification it was obtained, combined with a molecule of water, in foliaceous condition.

PECTIN or vegetable jelly is found universally scattered over the vegetable kingdom, being inconsiderable quantity in many fruits, roots, etc. It may be obtained from the juice of all fruits by (1) the cautious addition of oxalic acid to throw down their calcium salts; (2) then adding a concentrated solution of tannin so long as a precipitate occurs, of coagulated albumen; (3) separating the albumen by filtration, and then adding alcohol to the clear liquid, and leaving the solution for a couple of days to spontaneous evaporation, when the pectin is deposited as a gelatinous coagulum; to obtain it in purity, subject it to gradual pressure, and wash it with weak alcohol. It is translucent like isinglass, swells in 100 parts of cold water, forming a mass like starch, but not colored blue by iodine; boiling water has less action upon it than cold. It is insoluble in alcohol or ether, and has no action on polarized light. The least trace of a fixed alkali instantly converts it into pectic acid, forming a pectate of the alkali, the addition of another acid decomposes it, and sets the pectic acid free. Pectic acid has the form of a transparent and colorless jelly, with a perceptible acid taste, reddens litmus, and forms salts with alkalies (T.).

Cataplasma Dauci.—Carrot Poultice.

(also see Carota.—Wild Carrot.)\

SYNONYMS: Cataplasma carotae, Carrot cataplasm.

Preparation.—Take of garden carrots, scraped, 4 ounces, Indian meal (corn meal), 1 ounce, boiling water, a sufficient quantity to form a cataplasm of the proper consistence.

Action and Medical Uses.—This will be found a valuable application to indolent and gangrenous ulcers, and painful tumors.
Medicine: 1931 Grieve (A Modern Herbal ) (7:Online)

Part Used: Leaves, stems and roots of wild Carrot

Medicinal Actions, Indications, Body System Associations, Preparation and Pharmacy:

Diuretic, stimulant deobstruent. An infusion of the whole herb is considered an active and valuable remedy in the treatment of dropsy, chronic kidney diseases and affections of the bladder. The infusion, made from 1 OZ. of the herb in a pint of boiling water, is taken in wineglassful doses. Carrot tea, taken night and morning, and brewed in this manner from the whole front, is considered excellent for a gouty disposition. A strong decoction is very useful in gravel and stone, and is good against flatulence. A fluid extract is also prepared, the dose being from 1/2 to 1 drachm.

The seeds are carminative, stimulant and very useful in flatulence, windy colic, hiccough, dysentery, chronic coughs, etc. The dose of the seeds, bruised, is from one-third to one teaspoonful, repeated as necessary. They were at one time considered a valuable remedy for calculus complaints. They are excellent in obstructions of the viscera, in jaundice (for which they were formerly considered a specific), and in the beginnings of dropsies, and are also of service as an emmenagogue. They have a slight aromatic smell and a warm, pungent taste. They communicate an agreeable flavour to malt liquor, if infused in it while working in the vat, and render it a useful drink in scorbutic disorders.
Old writers tell us that a poultice made of the roots has been found to mitigate the pain of cancerous ulcers, and that the leaves, applied with honey, cleanse running sores and ulcers. An infusion of the root was also used as an aperient.

Constituents: The medicinal properties of the seeds are owing to a volatile oil which is colourless or slightly tinged with yellow; this is procured by distilling with water. They also yield their virtues by infusion to water at 212 degrees F.; boiling dissipates them. No thorough analysis has been made. (Emphasis mine. She might have overlooked King’s, above and probably could not even imagine Dr. Duke.)

Harvest: Not stated

Other: N/A

Cautions: Not stated.

Medicine: 1985 Li (14:17), summarizing the James Duke of 1985.

Part Used: Doesn’t say. But I think, judging from the constituents, that it is the root.

Medicinal Actions: Anthelminthic and diuretic properties.

Indications: Worms, trouble urinating.

Body System Associations: Stomach and intestines, kidney and bladder.

Constituents: Thiamine, nicotinic acid, phytin, lipids, carotenes, vitamin B complex and C.

Harvest: Not stated.

Preparation: Not stated.

Pharmacy: Not stated

Other: Not stated

Cautions: Not stated

Medicine: 2000 Jackson and Shelton (3:Online), summarizing the James Duke

of 2000 (Constituents section) while referring to “ongoing studies” and

uncited information from other sources as well.

Part Used: Seeds, roots and leaves.

Medicinal Actions, Indications and Body System Associations: Used as a medicinal herb for thousands of years as an abortifactint, anthelmintic, carminative, contraceptive, deobstruent, diuretic, emmenagogue, galactogogue, ophthalmic, and stimulant. A medicinal infusion is used in the treatment of various complaints including digestive disorders, (soothes the digestive tract), kidney and bladder diseases and in the treatment of dropsy, it supports the liver, stimulates the flow of urine and the removal of waste by the kidneys. A wonderfully cleansing medicinal herb, an infusion of the leaves has been used to counter cystitis and kidney stone formation, and to diminish stones that have already formed. The seeds can be used as a settling carminative agent for the relief of flatulence and colic. Wild Carrot leaves contain significant amounts of porphyrins, which stimulate the pituitary gland and lead to the release of increased levels of sex hormones, and stimulate the uterus. The plant is also used to encourage delayed menstruation, can induce uterine contractions and so should not be used by pregnant women. The seed is a traditional 'morning after' contraceptive and there is some evidence to uphold this belief. An essential oil obtained from the seed has also been used cosmetically in anti-wrinkle creams. A strong decoction of the seeds and root make a very good insecticide.
Constituents: This way long list of chemical constituents and their activities, contained in Wild Carrot is brought to you courtesy of Dr. James A. Duke and his wonderful website .  Acetone, acetyl-choline, alpha-linolenic-acid, alpha-pinene, alpha-tocopherol, apigenin, arachidonic-acid, arginine, asarone, ascorbic-acid, bergapten, beta-carotene, beta-sitosterol, caffeic-acid, camphor, chlorogenic-acid, chlorophyll, chrysin, citral, citric-acid, coumarin, elemicin, esculetin, ethanol, eugenol, falcarinol, ferulic-acid, folacin, formic-acid, fructose, gamma-linolenic-acid, geraniol, glutamine, glycine, hcn, histidine, kaempferol, lecithin, limonene, linoleic-acid, lithium, lupeol, lutein, luteolin, lycopene, magnesium, manganese, methionine, mufa, myrcene, myricetin, myristicin, niacin, oleic-acid, pantothenic-acid, pectin, phenylalanine, potassium, psoralen, quercetin, scopoletin, stigmasterol, sucrose, terpinen-4-ol, thiamin, tryptophan, tyrosine, umbelliferone, xanthotoxin, and a slew of other Vitamins and minerals.

These constituents are known to have these activities, Analgesic, Antiarthritic, Antidepressant, Antipsychotic, Antischizophrenic, Antidote, Antiinflammatory, Antibacterial, Anticonvulsant, Antidiabetic, Antiestrogenic, Antiflu, Antihistaminic, Antioxidant, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Antiepileptic, Antianxiety, Antistress, AntiPMS, Antihangover, Antiviral, Cancer-Preventive, Expectorant, Fungistat, Immunostimulant, MAO-Inhibitor, Sedative, Tranquilizer, Aphrodisiac, Sweetener, Pituitary-Stimulant, and more.

(Note: The complete list of all 254 chemicals and the information I could find on the 120 or so bio-active ones are in the Appendix. Ron)

Harvest: Not stated.

Preparation: Medicinal tea: To 1 OZ. of dried herb add 1 pint of boiling water steep l0-l5 min. drink three times a day.

Infusion of the seeds: Use l/3 to l teaspoonful to a cup of water. Take in tbls. doses 3 to 4 times a day.

Pharmacy: Drink or apply as a wash or poultice.

Other: Ongoing studies are proving this to be a very valuable plant, useful in many areas of alternative medicine, a few are Alzheimer's, Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, Infertility, Asthma-preventive, most types of cancer, Diabetes, Leukaemia, HIV, Spina-bifida, Migraine headache, obesity, and much more, even the common cold.

Cautions: The plant is also used to encourage delayed menstruation, can induce uterine contractions and so should not be used by pregnant women.
Essential Oil Information:

Essential Oils: (14:125)

Seed: Sabinene, daucene, beta-bisaboline, beta-caryophyllene, geraniol, linalool, carotol, geraniol acetate, asarone, daucol.

Leaf: Sabinene, linalyl acetate, carvone, carotol.

Root: Beta-bisabolene, cis- and trans- asarone, asarone aldehyde, eugenol, 2-hydroxy-4-methoxyacetophenone, vanillan.

Medicinal Actions: (15:72)

Anthelmintic, antiseptic, carminative, depurative, diuretic, emmenagogue, hepatic, stimulant, tonic, vasodilatory and smooth muscle relaxant.

Each constituent can also be looked up separately in the Appendix to this monograph, or at Dr. Duke’s Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases (16:Online).

Indications: Not stated for essential oils. Can be intuited from list of actions.

Aromatherapy: (15:72)

SKIN CARE: Dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, revitalizing and toning, mature complexions, wrinkles.

CIRCULATION, MUSCLES AND JOINTS: Accumulation of toxins, arthritis, gout, oedema, rheumatism.

DIGESTIVE SYSTEM: Anaemia, anorexia, colic, indigestion, liver congestion.

GENITO-URINARY AND ENDOCRINE SYSTEMS: Amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, glandular problems, PMT.

Cautions: None. Non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitizing (15:72). (Note: it is standard procedure to dilute essential oils prior to use. Ron.)


Personal Medicinal Experience: None. I have used the seeds as a spice.


Ecological Relationships: D. carota grows wild in dry, open fields with well-drained soil and in recently disturbed or waste places. I have seen it growing in Michigan along with Chicory, Spurge, St. John’s Wort, Evening Primrose, Canadian Thistle, Yarrow and various grasses. I am waiting to learn this summer who its friends are here in the Northwest. I think I have seen it together with Blackberries, Fireweed, Pineapple Weed and Daisy Fleabane, if memory serves me.


Other Notes of Interest:

Not everyone appreciates Wild Carrot!! It can ruin the crop of a company that is producing seeds for cultivated varieties if it cross-pollinates with their carefully selected plants. It can quickly overrun farm fields and reduce crop yields, so farmers hate it and many states have classified it as a noxious weed and penalize landowners who do not keep it under control. There is an article from the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee called “Controlling Wild Carrot” in Appendix A. (17:Online).

Folklore: The name 'Carrot' is Celtic, and means 'red of colour,' and Daucus from the Greek dais to burn, signifying its pungent and stimulating qualities. An Old English superstition is that the small purple flower in the center of the Wild Carrot was of benefit in curing epilepsy. (3:Online)

TRIVIA (11:Online)

  • The Anglo-Saxons included carrots as an ingredient in a medicinal drink against the devil and insanity.

  • The black swallowtail butterfly lays its eggs on plants in the carrot family, and the caterpillars feed on the foliage, so grow a few extra carrots for the butterflies!

  • Carrots have the highest content of vitamin A of all vegetables.

  • A teaspoon holds almost 2000 carrot seeds.

  • The Largest Carrot recorded in October 1990 was 193 1/4 inches

  • Heaviest Carrot recorded in the World 19.985 lb 1998(single root mass)
    John V. R. Evans, USA

  • Carrots were first grown as a medicine not a food.

  • Carrots produce more distilled spirit than potatoes.

  • In early Celtic literature, the carrot is referred to as the "Honey Underground"!

  • The classic Bugs Bunny carrot is the "Danvers" type.

  • Carrots are not always orange and can also be found in purple, white, red or yellow depending on the different natural pigmentation.

  • The common or garden carrot is a cross between the wild carrot and the giant carrot - Daucus maximus.

  • In Suffolk, Carrots were formerly given as a specific for preserving and restoring the wind of horses.

  • Carrot leaves were used to decorate ladies hair in Western Europe in place of feathers.

  • Attempts have been made to extract sugar from Carrots, but the resulting thick syrup refuses to crystallize, and in competition with either cane sugar or that obtained from the beetroot, it has not proved commercially successful.

  • Queen Anne's Lace is also known as Mother Die, because if you brought it into your house, according to superstition, your mother would die.



Plant Part: Root

Season of Harvest: The root would be best in the early spring, but could be gathered anytime except when the ground is frozen solid.

Method of Harvest: Dig

Ecological Considerations of Harvest: D. carota is in no danger of extinction. I don’t know about D. pusillus.

Cultural Considerations of Harvest: Do not gather in parks or protected areas. Gather from private property only with permission. Most farmers should gleefully allow you to gather this “noxious weed” from their fields.

Cautions: Contact with the fresh foliage, especially when wet, can cause dermatitis in sensitive persons.

Plant Part:

Season of Harvest:

Method of Harvest:

Ecological Considerations of Harvest:

Cultural Considerations of Harvest:




See Appendix B.

Cautions: The plant is also used to encourage delayed menstruation, can induce uterine contractions and so should not be used by pregnant women.

Contact with the fresh foliage, especially when wet, can cause dermatitis in

sensitive persons.

Drawings, Photographs or Pressings
See Appendix A. (18:Online), (19:Online) and (20:CDROM)


References Cited:
1. Author Unknown Institute for Systematic Botany Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants 2000 Online at Visited 3-6-2001
2. An Advanced Search for “rattlesnake weed” on Google (Online at on 3-10-2001 generated results for six different plants:
Selected results from a Google Advanced Search Online at
Daucus pusilla Wild American Carrot Carrot Family Apiaceae

Online at

Hieracium venosum Vein-leaved hawkweed Composite Family Asteraceae/Compositae

Columbia Encyclopedia Online at

Euphorbia albomarginata White-margined spurge Spurge Family Euphorbiaceae

Online at

Astragalas spp. Locoweed Pea Family Fabaceae

Online at

Stachys floridana Florida betony Mint Family Labiaceae/Lamiaceae

Online at

Perilla frutescens Wild basil, beefsteak plant, Shiso Mint Family Labiacaea/Lamiaceae

Two interesting articles are online at

Visited 3-10-2001

3. Jackson, Deb and Shelton, Karen Alternative Nature Online Herbal 2000 Online at Visited 3-6-2001.
4. Beckstrom-Sternberg, Stephen M., James A. Duke, and K.K. Wain. "The Ethnobotany Database." (Data version July 1994). Visited 3-2-2001.
5. Gibbons, Euell Stalking the Healthful Herbs New York David McKay Company,

Inc. 1966 Library of Congress Card Catalog Number: 66-17354.

6. De Ruff, Robert Plants of Upper Newport Bay, Orange County, California 1999.

Online at

7. Grieve, M. A Modern Herbal New York Dover Publications, Inc. 1971 ISBN

0-486-22798-7 Unabridged reproduction of the 1931 Harcourt, Brace & Company

version. Online at

Copyright 2001 Electric Newt. Visited 3-10-2001.

8. Center for the Study of Digital Libraries Texas A&M University BONAP

Distribution Data US distribution of Daucus pusillus

Online at
9. Payne, R.D. Nez Perce National Historical Park “Unofficial” Website Online at Last updated 7-1998.

Visited 3-6-2001.

10. Moerman, Dan Native American Ethnobotany Database Aug 1999 Online at Visited 3-9-2001.
11. The Stolarczyk Family The World Carrot Museum Website Page Date Unknown

Visited 3-9-2001. Last update unknown. Online at

This website has to be seen to be believed!!! These guys have gathered together

more information about carrots than I have ever seen in one place. Go there.
12. Culpeper, Nicholas The English Physitian: or an astrologo-physical discourse of

the vulgar herbs of this nation. London Peter Cole 1652. Online at Visited 3-10-

13. Culbreth, David M. R. A Manual of Materia Medica and Pharmacology

Philadelphia Lea & Febiger 1927 Abridged and alphabetized by Michael Moore.

Online at Visited 3-10-

2001. See Appendix A.
14. Li, Thomas S. C. Medicinal Plants Culture, Utilization & Phytopharmacology

Lancaster, PA Technomic Publishing co., Inc. 2000.

15. Lawless, Julia The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils Barnes & Noble 1995

ISBN 1-56619-858-5

16. Felter, Harvey Wickes, and Lloyd, John Uri King’s American Dispensatory 18th

edition, 3rd revision 1898. Scanned version copyright 2000-2001 Henriette Kress.

Online at’s. Visited 3-9-2001.

A golden oldie from the age of Eclecticism. It would not surprise me to find that the

plant nomenclature might be considerably outdated.
17. Kells, J. J. and Stachler, J. M. Controlling Wild Carrot Michigan State University

Extension 8/18/1998 Online at

Visited 3-6-2001.
18. Duke, James A. Dr. Duke”s Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases Online

at Updated 6-6-2000. Visited 2-16-2001.

19. Author Unknown CambridgeSoft ChemFinder website Online at Constantly updated. Visited 2-21-2001.
20. Budavari, Susan, ed. The Merck Index, Twelfth Edition Whitehouse Station NJ

1996 ISBN 0911910-12-3 CDROM Version.

References consulted but not cited:
21. Scudder, John M. Specific Medication and Specific Medicines Cincinnati

Wilstach, Baldwin & Co. 1870 Scanned version copyright 2000 by Henriette

Kress Online at

Visited 3-6-2001.

22. Potter, Sam’l O. L. A Compend of Materia Medica, Therapeutics, and

Prescription Writing 6th Edition Philadelphia P.Blakiston’s Son & Co. 1902

Scanned version copyright 2000 by Henriette Kress Online at Visited 3-9-2001.
23. Chamberlin, Ralph V. Ethnobotany of the Gosiute Indians of Utah Memoirs of the

American Anthropological Association Vol. II Part 5 1912(?) Online at

Visited 3-10-2001.

24. Stevenson, Matilda Coxe Ethnobotany of the Zuni Indians Thirtieth Annual

Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian

Institution Washington Government Printing Office 1909 Online at


Visited 3-10-2001.

25. Felter, Harvey Wickes The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and

Therapeutics 1922 Facsimile Monographs extracted from by Michael Moore.

Online at Visited 3-10-

26. Fyfe, John William Fyfe’s Materia Medica (Eclectic Manual #6) Cinncinnati

The Scudder Brothers Company 1903 Online at Visited 3-10-2001.


Ron Bell

Cultural Ecosystems

Winter 2001


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