Growing up in Washington State, I knew the wild carrot as Queen Anne’s Lace. The plant, known by its Latin Name as Daucus carota, is quite delicate looking and made for the perfect make believe wand when the flowers had dried. This plant has been used throughout the years as a form of birth control; Hippocrates advised the use of the wild carrot for this purpose. The name ’Carrot’ is Celtic, and means ’red of color,’ and Daucus from the Greek dais to burn, signifying its pungent and stimulating qualities. An Old English superstition is that the small purple flower in the center of the Wild Carrot was of benefit in curing epilepsy. Besides being of medicinal benefit, the plant was also consumed as food; though it’s not as sweet as today’s common carrot.
Poison Hemlock and Hogweed look very similar to the Wild Carrot; see more information in the Links section below. Be absolutely sure to properly identify any plant before you harvest and use it.
Please consult a trained herbalist before using wild carrot; it is considered toxic.
Common Name: Wild Carrot (Queen Anne’s Lace, Bird’s Nest, Bishop’s Lace)
Latin Name: Daucus carota
Family: Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)
Areas of Origin: Southwestern Asia, Europe and North Africa
Botanical Description: A biennial plant which can grow up to 3’ and can spread up to 3’ in diameter. The stem is thin, and supports the flowering head made up of several white flowers that gather to form a cup, or upside down umbrella. The flowering heads can grow upwards of 5” in diameter and contain one, dark flower in the center. The leaves are feather-like.
Parts Used: Seed, leaves, roots
Uses: Contraception, liver support, supports the elimination system, soothes the stomach
Actions: Abortifacient, antispasmodic, antiviral, antilithic, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, nervine, stimulant.
Preparations: Infusion, extract
Taste: Acrid, bitter
Safety: Not recommended for: pregnant women or breast feeding, kidney failure or diabetes mellitus.
Contraindications (Plant-Medication Combinations): May interact with: estrogens, lithium, high blood pressure medications and photosensitizing drugs.
Until next time, discover the power of welcoming nature’s healing plants into your life.
Giant Hogweed Identification and Control https://www.kingcounty.gov/services/environment/animals-and-plants/noxious-weeds/weed-identification/giant-hogweed.aspx
How to Tell the Difference Between Poison Hemlock and Queen Anne's Lace http://www.ravensroots.com/blog/2015/6/26/poison-hemlock-id
Medicinal Minute: Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jueRDGAnfJc
Brinker, F., N.D. (2010). Herbal Contraindications and Drug Interactions plus Herbal Adjuncts with Medicines. Oregon, Sandy: Eclectic Medical Publications.
Jackson, D. (n.d.). Wild Carrot. Alternative Natural Online Herbal. Retrieved from https://altnature.com/gallery/wildcarrot.htm
Wild Carrot. (n.d). WebMD. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-887/wild-carrot