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Restharrow (Ononis spinosa)



Diuretic, mildly diuretic, blood purifying, stone dissolving

Areas of application:

Rheumatism, skin diseases, urinary and kidney semolina, chronic joint rheumatism, gout, urinary stones, weakness of the bladder, genital warts, herpes simplex, herpes zoster, throat problems, easy bleeding and sore gums, toothache

Plant parts used:

Root, thorny, young herb

Collection time:

Spring and autumn

To find:

Frequently found in sunny, dry places, on the edges of paths and fields, on embankments and on fallow land, Hauhechel is a deep-rooted organism that lives in symbiosis with nitrogen-producing bacteria (like peas).


Flavonoids, ononin, trifolirhizin, fatty oil, essential oil, sugar, resin, gum, starch, protein, citric acid, sitosterol


☕ Tea: 2 teaspoons of the drug are poured with 1/4 liter of hot, but not boiling, water and left to steep for 1/2 hour. Strain and drink 2 cups per day. Under no circumstances should you boil it, the active ingredients evaporate with water and are quickly lost.

The spiny restharrow grows as a subshrub and can grow to between 10 and 60 cm tall, rarely up to 80 cm. It has a strong taproot that can reach up to 50 cm into the ground. The procumbent to ascending or mostly upright stems, which branch in the lower section, are woody at the base and herbaceous in the upper section. The stems are more or less densely hairy and often glandular. From the middle of the stem, the long or short glandular hairs are usually clearly arranged in two rows and opposite each other, rarely in one row or right at the top. The branches often end in thorns or they are unarmed (depending on the subspecies). The stem thorns, which are often in pairs, are red in color. The alternately arranged leaves are divided into a petiole and a leaf blade. The petiole is very short. The leaf blades are usually palmately pinnate in three parts, and simple at the upper end of the branches. The differently hairy leaflets vary greatly in shape, for example, with a length of 1 to 3 centimeters, they are oval and toothed, or with a length of 2 to 3.5 millimeters and a width of 1 to 1.5 millimeters, they are obovate, elliptical, oblong-obovate, or almost circular. The middle leaflet has a short stalk and is at least twice, often three to four times, as long as it is wide. The upper leaflet is oblong-elliptical with a length of 5 to 10 millimeters and a width of 3 to 5 millimeters, with a rounded base, pointed upper end, and irregularly serrated edge. The toothed stipules are shorter than the leaf stalk and are often fused to it for plus or minus a long time. The flowering period is from April to September, depending on the location. There are one to three flowers on each of the short shoots in the leaf axils and branch ends, resulting in moderately dense racemose inflorescences with a total of many flowers. The bracts are reduced to a single leaf. The short flower stalks are plus or minus upright during anthesis. The flower is zygomorphic and has five petals with a double perianth. The five sepals are fused together in a bell shape. The five sepals are lanceolate or linear-lanceolate with rarely three, usually four to five veins. The calyx is partially covered in glandular, fluffy hairs and has rough hairs at the throat. The five pink, rose-red or light violet, rarely bluish or white petals are arranged in the typical shape of a butterfly flower. The mostly pink flag is slightly glandular on the outside and has dark, streaky veins. The wings are white. The white boat, which is pink at the upper end, is elongated in the shape of a beak. The flowering period is from April to September. The brown or blackish seeds are kidney-shaped and have a warty or rarely smooth seed coat. (partly Wikipedia)

The spiny restharrow is occasionally grouped together with the creeping restharrow (Ononis repens) and the field restharrow (Ononis arvensis) to form the species group Ononis spinosa agg. The assignment of individual specimens to the individual species is sometimes almost impossible, as there are transitional forms between them.

Not all restharrow plants have good healing properties, which depends on the saponin content of the individual plant. Some plants contain little or no saponin.

When using restharrow, the body needs additional fluid to excrete.

If you want to do a restharrow treatment, you should only do it for 2 weeks, otherwise you will no longer feel any effects. After a break of 2 weeks, you can start a new treatment.

In the kitchen, the flowers are a delicious decoration for a variety of dishes. As long as the young shoots have not yet developed thorns, they can be used as a spice for vegetable dishes. The root is an ingredient in various spirits.

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