Bidens pilosa (Farmer’s Friend)

Botanic Name Bidens pilosa
Common Name Farmer’s Friend, Cobbler’s pegs, Beggar’s ticks, Pitchforks,
Family Asteraceae (Compositae)
Habitat Any disturbed or waste ground; cracks in pavements and walls. (RD)
Description A weak annual herb usually a metre or less in height, with spreading branches. Leaves are in opposite paris, this, soft and hairy, mostly divided but also undivided. The flowers (summer-autumn), technically heads of tiny flowers, terminate all branches and branchlets. Each head has five or so white ‘petals’ (rays) around a dense cluster of orange florets. These rapidly mature to star-heads of the dry pronged fruitlets. (RD)
Similar Plants Bidens tripartita (Water Agrmony, Burr Marigold)
Parts Used The whole flowering plant
History Infusions have been used as a tonic and stimulant (RD)

In Southeast Asia a decoction was drunk for coughs and the juice of leaves dropped into the eye for conjunctivitis (RD)

In Africa young shoots where chewed for the relief of rheumatism and strong decoction of the leaves was drunk for any inflammation (RD)

A diffusion was used to treat dysentery – the fresh juice earache (RD)

Used all over the world for various ailments (RD)

Constituents Chalcone and aurone glycosides (Bushell)

Volatile oil (Bushell)

Acylated okanin glycoside (leaves) (Bushell)

Gallic and oxalic acid (Bushell)

Phenolic astringents (Bushell)

Actions Astringent (Bushell)

Antihaemorrhagic (Bushell)

Styptic (Bushell)

Urogenital system tonic (diuretic, kidney & bladder tonic, anti-inflammatory) (Bushell)

Mucous membrane tonic throughout the body (Bushell)

Minor anti-microbial activity (Bushell)

Neo-plastic (Bushell)

Applications Coughs (RD)

Conjunctivitis (RD)

Dysentry (RD)

Haematuria, urethritis, custitis, cloudy urine, benign prostratic hypertrophy (Bushell)

Kidney Stones (Bushell)

Diarrhoea, peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis, mucoid colitis, IBS, haemorrhoids (Bushell)

Respiratory Infections/irritations due to smoking, shouting, dust (Bushell)

Upper respiratory tract – hayfevers, sinusitis, sinus headaches especially from allegies, infections and pollution (Bushell)

FRS – astringent for any dysfunctional uterine haemorrhage, metrorrhagia, menorrhagia, vaginal discharges (Bushell)

Muskuloskeletal – elevated uric acid blood levels in gout (Bushell)

Dosage Medium dose (Bushell)
Combinations With Urtica dioica in gout
C/I Cautions High doses can irritate bladder and kidneys (Bushell)

Do not use in cancer (Bushell)

BHP S/I None Given

Back to Index (Botanical) | Back to Index (Common)