The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!


Scientific Names


  • Ononis spinosa L.
  • Leguminaceae
  • Pea family

Common Names

  • Cammock
  • Petty whin
  • Stayplough

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Parts Usually Used

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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Restharrow is a shrubby perennial plant; the plant’s deep, sinuous roots produce spiny, much-branched stems which are woody at the base and which grow from 1 to 2 feet high. The alternate leaves are simple near the top and pinnate near the bottom, with 3 serrate, oblong leaflets. The rose-colored or white, papilionaceous (butterfly-shaped) flowers grow singly or in twos and threes in the leaf axils from June to August. The fruit is an ovate, hairy pod.
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Where Found

It is fairly common in dry meadows, pastures, fallow land, and limestone soils in Europe and sometimes cultivated as a garden plant in the United States.
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Medicinal Properties

Aperient, diuretic, expectorant, metabolic stimulant, sedative
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Known primarily for its diuretic properties, which are effective but act without negative side-effects. Good for edema and water retention, especially uric acid retention and are thus susceptible to gravel and stones. Recommended for urinary catarrh, kidney inflammations, and rheumatism. A decoction of the roots can be used externally for eczema, itching, and other skin problems.
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Formulas or Dosages

Infusion: steep 3 to 4 tbsp. roots in 1 cup hot water for 5 minutes while stirring. Take 1 to 1 1/2 cups per day, warm.

Decoction: soak 2 tsp. roots in 1/2 cup cold water for 8 hours, then bring rapidly to a boil.
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Nutrient Content

Iron, sulfur, magnesium, calcium
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Buy It! The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! The Nature Doctor: A Manual of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel; Keats Publishing, Inc., 27 Pine Street (Box 876) New Canaan, CT. 06840-0876. Copyright Verlag A. Vogel, Teufen (AR) Switzerland 1952, 1991

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

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