Cowbane (Cicuta virosa)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Cowbane
Cicuta virosa
Umbelliferae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    The root is analgesic, antispasmodic, emetic, galactofuge and sedative[4, 9]. The whole plant is highly toxic and is not used in herbal medicine[9].

    A homeopathic remedy has been made from this plant in the past[9]. It was used in the treatment of epilepsy, meningitis and other ailments affecting the brain[9].

  • Edible Use

    One report says that the boiled leaves have been eaten[257]. This is very unwise, see the notes above on toxicity.

  • Cautionary Notes

    A very poisonous plant[10, 13, 19], even a small bite can be lethal[65]. The active ingredient is called cicutoxin, it is a spasmodic with a high toxicity to the central nervous system. It causes death by respiratory paralysis[240].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. If you have sufficient seed, outdoor sowings in situ could be tried in the spring and the autumn.
Prefers a moist or wet acid soil[13].
Northern and central Europe, including Britain, east to Japan.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.