Plant Profile: Wild Carrot


Wild Carrot (A.K.A. Queen Anne’s Lace)
(Daucus carota)

Family: UMBELLIFERAE/APIACEA
Energetics: Moistening. Warming.
Taste: Pungent. Bitter. Sweet.
Tissue States: Dry, Cold
Parts Used: Seeds & aerial parts.
Systems affected:
Bladder. Kidneys. Stomach. Uterus.
Key Components:
Volatile Oils. Flavonoids. Daucine (an alkaloid). Tannins. Asparagine. Carotene. Glucose. Pectin. Vitamin E. Vitamin C. Vitamin B.
Preparations & dosage:
Tincture fresh. 
Infusion: Standard  plant steeped 10-15 min. Seed infusion: 1/3-1 tsp per cup. Seed decoction: 2 tsp root or seed per cup simmered 8-10 minutes. Tincture Fresh. 5-30 drops twice a day. Essential oil: 1-3 drops in a veggie capsule 1-2x per day. Use 1-2 drops topically.
Properties: Diuretic. Antilithic. Carminative. Stimulant. Tonic.
Uses:  

As a urinary antiseptic.
Cystitis. prostatitis. Kidney stones. Incontinence. Opens urinary blockages & eliminates all types of gravel or stones in the bladder and kidneys. Can also help alleviate lower back pain caused by kidneys issues as well as restore the bladder and aid in the relief of bladder irritation or painful urination caused by an overstimulated bladder (such as in a UTI).

Gout. Rheumatism. Specific for osteoarthritis. Fibromyalgia. Acts by influencing the mineral content of urine. As a diuretic, it decreases swelling in the lower portion of the body. This action is probably from the stimulating action on the kidneys. Can also do the same thing with fat by stimulating the thyroid. 

Digestive Issues:

Seeds as a carminative for flatulence & colic. When put on the tongue, as with a tincture as part of a bitters formula, wild carrot can stimulate digestion and digestive fire.

Female Reproductive:
Used as a sort of herbal morning after pill. Studies done in the 1980’s show that wild carrot seeds, when taken as a tincture several times within 8 hours of intercourse, blocked the production of progesterone and prevented egg implantation. The seeds eaten have also been shown to have the same effect.
A Pituitary stimulant that appears to affect down the endocrine system thus having an effect in the thyroid, kidneys & sex hormones.
Use as food:

Can chop or grate the root and add to bread and muffins. The leaves can be used sparingly as you would use dill. The seeds can be used as you would use fennel or dill seeds.
Combinations:
UTI’s: Yarrow & Bearberry.  Kidney Stones: Hydrangea, Gravel root or Pellitory. Essential Oil: 

Flower Essence: Can be helpful to those who wish to strengthen their intuition or telepathic abilities. Can increase spiritual insight and clarity when ones perception is blocked by emotional or sexual problems that have yet to be resolved. It keeps you grounded. 
Indications: Lower back pain, minimal urine output. "Beer belly". Hypothyroid. Adult onset Diabetes. 
Identifying: A biennial plant that creates a small rosette of leaves the first year and the stem with flower the second year. Small flowers in umbels that resemble lace. Typically has one dark purple flower rosette in the center and long stems that can reach more than 3’ tall and have prickly hairs on them. After they flower they close and create seed “nests”. The seeds are also covered with tiny hairs and smell a bit like fennel seeds. 
Growing: Native to Europe but naturalized in the US and is now found abundantly as an introduced invasive in zones 3-9
Collection: Harvest the leaves from spring through fall. The flowers can be harvested through the summer season when they are in flower and the seeds from summer through early fall. Harvest seed “nests” after the plant has flowered. Best when they are still a bit green. Only the root of the first year plant with only the rosette is worth harvesting, after that the root becomes too tough. Wild Carrot is considered an invasive species, not native. Sustainability is not of a large concern. I would still be sure to leave a few seeds heads to allow the plant to reseed. 

Look alike? Often mistaken with Poison Hemlock. The best way to tell the difference is the lack of center purple flower (though this is not ALWAYS an indication as some wild carrot does not have the center flower) and a smooth stem with NO HAIRS. Poison Hemlock also does NOT create a seed nest like Wild Carrot does and the poison hemlock seeds to not have hairs.
Contraindications: Do not take during pregnancy as it can stimulate the uterus. Stop using if you experience Breast tenderness, bloating or cramping after using wild carrot. Not for acute kidney inflammation. 

Sources: 

The Herb Sourcebook: David Hoffmann. Pg 330; 
The Herbal Apothecary: JJPursell. Pg 174-175; 
Northeast Foraging: Leda Meredith. Pg 272-274; 
Flower Power: Anne McIntyre. Pg 257; 
Earthwise Herbal Volume 1: Matthew Wood. 


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