Hogweed, also called cow parsnip, is a perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the Apiaceae or Umbelliferae family. The plant grows wild in the meadows and woods and its scientific name is Heracleum spondylium, that refers to Heracles, the hero of Greek mythology known for his strong and powerful physique: the stem of the plant can reach indeed a very large size up to 2 meters. Well known by the peoples of the north, the hogweed can be used in case of ulcers, wounds, pimples, abscesses and insect bites. For internal use, the plant is instead a help to improve digestion and resolve problems such as diarrhea or dysentery.
It also has stimulant and aphrodisiac properties. Let’s see the main uses.
Crush a handful of leaves and roots and apply to the affected area in case of pimples, abscesses, wounds or other skin disorders. Leave on for about ten minutes then renew the compress. After the application avoid to expose to the sun or sunlamps because hogweed can cause photosensitivity.
For disorders of the digestive system you can prepare a decoction of the hogweed roots: bring to a boil a liter of water and a tablespoon of roots, leave to boil for a few minutes, then filter and drink up to 4 cups a day.