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Bidens pilosa

Bidens pilosa
Photo Information
Copyright: Raimundo Mesquita (mesquens) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 168 W: 9 N: 287] (2073)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-01-20
Categories: Flowers
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC LZ7
Exposure: f/2.8, 1/160 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Herbs used in medicine [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-01-23 2:20
Viewed: 10695
Points: 6
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Departments » Herbal Medicine » Materia Medica » Bidens pilosa

Note - the monographs are provided for informational purposes only, and are not to be used for self-medication.


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

Copyright © The Australian Naturopathic Network 1998-2002. All rights reserved.

Bidens pilosa is a species in the plant family Asteraceae. It is considered a weed in some tropical habitats. However, in some parts of the world it is a source of food.[1]
They sprout individual flowers which are small, yellow and usually contain 4 to 5 white petals. The seeds are black and contain 4-5 black burs which cling to livestock and humans.
The plant is known under many different names:
• Bontoc: nguad, puriket
• English: Hairy Beggarticks, broom stick, broom stuff, cobbler's pegs, devil's needles, etc
• Fijian: batimadramadra, matakaro, matua kamate, mbatikalawau
• Filipino: pisau-pisau
• French: bident hérissé, herbe d'aiguille, herbe villebague, piquants noirs
• Hawaiʻian: kī, kī nehe, kī pipili, nehe
• Ibatan: dadayem
• Japanese: ko-sendangusa
• Maori (Cook Islands): kamika tuarongo, nīroa, piripiri, piripiri kerekere, piripiri nīroa
• Niuean: kofetoga (=Tongan bamboo, i.e.: junk bamboo)
• Futunan: tae puaka (=pig shit)
• Pukapukan: pilipili
• Spanish: acetillo, amor seco, arponcito, asta de cabra, bidente piloso, cacho de cabra, cadillo, hierba amarilla, masquia, mazote, papunga chipaca, pega-pega, perca, rosilla, sirvulaca
• Tahitian: piripiri (=sticker)
• Tongan: fisi‘uli (=black flower)
See wikipedia.org

nirmalroberts, Ishi has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To saguzar: Semillasmesquens 1 01-23 08:28
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Raimundo,
Very interesting POV.
It gives the impression as if these needles are growing out from the leaf.
- Nirmal

Hola Raimundo,
Muy buen aumento, esas semillas puntiagudas se ven muy bien! Me recuerdan a unas que se pegan en cantidades en la ropa cuando uno anda en el campo... a veces las odio. Interesante info

  • Great 
  • Ishi Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 298 W: 21 N: 1943] (13387)
  • [2008-01-23 9:27]

Excellent picture: lovely composition and great detail!

We have it in Israel as a xenophyte, introduced from Tropical America...


Best regards,


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