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Giant Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Giant Ragweed
Ambrosia trifida

A red colour is obtained from the crushed heads[207]. (This probably refers to the seed heads[K].) The sap of the plant can stain the skin red[274].

  • Medicinal Use

    The leaves are very astringent, emetic and febrifuge[222, 257]. They are applied externally to insect bites and various skin complaints, internally they are used as a tea in the treatment of pneumonia, fevers, nausea, intestinal cramps, diarrhoea and mucous discharges[222].

    The juice of wilted leaves is disinfectant and is applied to infected toes[257].

    A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of menstrual disorders and stroke[222].

    The pollen is harvested commercially and manufactured into pharmaceutical preparations for the treatment of allergies to the plant[222].

  • Edible Use

    This plant was cultivated by the pre-Columbian N. American Indians, seeds found in pre-historic sites are 4 – 5 times larger than those of the present-day wild plant, which seems to indicate selective breeding by the Indians[207]. The following report is for A. artemesifolia, it quite possibly also applies to this species[K].

    An oil is obtained from the seed. It has been suggested for edible purposes because it contains little linolenic acid[61, 183]. The seed contains up to 19% oil[61], it has slightly better drying properties than soya bean oil[183].

  • Cautionary Notes

    The pollen of this plant is a major cause of hayfever in N. America[222]. Ingesting or touching the plant can cause allergic reactions in some people[222].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – we have no details for this species but suggest sowing the seed in situ in April.
We have very little information on this species but suggest growing it in a sunny position in a well-drained soil[K]. This plant is sometimes cultivated by the N. American Indians for food and medicine[207].
Eastern N. America – Quebec to Florida, west to Manitoba, Colorado and Mexico.

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.