Common name: Rest Harrow
Latin name: Ononis spinosa
Other names: Finweed, Ground Furze, Harrow Rest, Horse's Breath, Lady-whin, Wild Liquorice, Rassels, Whin, Cat Whin.
Habitat: Rest Harrow is native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. It can usually be found on rough and scrubby pastures, on hillsides and sandy shores.
Description: Rest Harrow is a perennial subshrub (usually lower than 1 meter). It has spiny, prostrate stems and tough roots. Leaves are lance-shaped, coarsely toothed. Flowers appear in June, July and August. Solitary or paired flowers are borne in axils. They are either stalkless or on small, short stalks. Flowers are pink, purple or white in color, being similar to Lotus flower.
Parts used: Roots, flowers, leaves
Useful components: Onocerin, sitosterol, isoflavones, ononin, essential oil
Medicinal use: The plant is considered to be antitussive, diuretic, laxative and lithontripic. Traditionally Rest Harrow had been used in treatment of skin ulcers. A decoction made from the leaves and stem is used in treatment of various skin conditions, and also as a revitalizing skin toner. An infusion made from the root is used in treatment of dropsy, kidney and bladder inflammations. Rest Harrow root is beneficial in treatment of urinary tract infections, gout, joint and muscle pain.
Safety: Rest Harrow shouldn’t be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and in cases of fluid retention and edema. Some herbs could react with certain medication. Therefore it is advisable to contact your doctor/herbalist before consumption of any herb.