Spanish needle
by Dr. Deepak Paul03-Jun-2013

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Spanish needle is one of the native weeds found excessively in North America, however, this edible plant is now cultivated in many tropical areas. The fresh as well as dried roots and leaves of this plant are used as an effective vegetable. This plant consists of small, hairy flowers, which are normally brown or yellow in color having four or five petals. Spanish needle is used for various medicinal purposes due to its effective medicinal properties.

Botanical classification










B. Pilosa



The commonly used names of Spanish needle are

1.       Black jack

2.       Hairy beggar ticks

3.       Cobbler’s pegs

4.       Pitch fork weeds

5.       Piquant noir


Spanish needle grows well in tropical habitats and is used for food as well as medicine. Although, this plant can flower any time of the year, but the most suitable seasons are of summer and autumn. Especially, Spanish needle grows well in temperate to tropical regions.

Medicinal parts

Typically, the fresh and dried leaves, shoots, leaves, and roots of Spanish needle are used for a lot of medicinal purposes.

Medicinal properties

This plant is used in conventional medicine for different kind of infections, respiratory tract infections, flu, cold, venereal diseases, and urinary tract infections. Different parts of Spanish needle consist of many properties such as

1.       Anti-inflammatory

2.       Antibacterial

3.       Anti-malarial

4.       Antimicrobial

5.       Hypotensive – lowering blood pressure

6.       Diuretic.

Active Principles

The main constituent of Spanish needle is flavonoid, which are helpful in the treatment of many diseases.

Medicinal uses

Spanish needle is used for various medicinal purposes, some of which are as follows:


The Spanish needle is used in crushed form for the treatment of various infections and wounds. The extracts of this plant are very helpful in speeding up the blood clotting.

Gastric pain

The plant of Spanish needle has proven to be very helpful in treating gastric pains. Normally, the leaves of Spanish needle are boiled in water and are also used in the form of a pasty mass. In order to get even better results, is can be combined with ginger tea.

Painful urination

The expressed sap of Spanish needle is used for painful urination and Dysuria. This plant is also used as a stimulant, expectorant, and antispasmodic.

Excellent herbal mouthwash

Spanish needle is used as a great mouth wash due to the antiseptic properties. In addition, it also supports and benefits the sore mouth and gums.

Bacterial infections

This plant has been used since long times for the treatment of different bacterial infections. Moreover, it has delivered awesome results in treating other ailments such as diabetes, flu, cold, colic, hepatitis, menstrual conditions, bronchitis, and urinary tract infections etc.


Spanish needle is used as an effective food in most of the tropical areas. The leaves, roots, and stems of this plant are rich is essential nutrients.


The normal dose of Spanish needle varies according to the health conditions of the patient. However, it should not be taken in high doses especially more than 3 grams.


There are no serious side effects of Spanish needle. Nevertheless, pregnant and lactating mothers should avoid its use and stay safe side.

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