Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cockle-Burrs or Devils Claws !#*@#!

Definition : Any course weed of the genus Xanthium having
spiny burrs.

Ohio State Journal Definition: An impish freak of nature to rile

My Definition: (Censored!)

As a child I cannot remember the times that we came
in from playing or tearing through the woods and the
fields covered with these nasty devils. And God forbid
if you got them in your hair. There was just no way of
getting them out with out pulling some hair out, especially
if Grandma was doing the gettin' them out.
Rates right up there with getting into stinging nettles!

The farmers are plagued by them because they get
on their live stock. We have many farmers getting
into Alpaca, Llama and even some Buffalo breeding
in the state.The burrs getting into their long fur is
If the family pet gets into them it is a job to get them
cleaned out. Usually after the family dog nips you a few
times for pulling its hair, you just get out the scissors.
I tried to find out if birds ate them but was unable to
find out any information or for any good use for the
unwanted weed. I found a reference for the use of the
weed while it is in flower but not for the burrs.


AGRIMONY (Agrimonia eupatoria) Common names:
Sticklewort, Cockle Burr, Church Steeples.

It grows in sunny dry places, on hedgebanks, on sides of
fields, woods and paths, on wastelands and near ruins.
Its small yellow flowers cluster on slender spikes, similar
to the Mullein. The whole plant is covered with soft hair,
the leaves near the ground are often 10 cm. long and pinnate.
Agrimony, which can reach a height of 80 cm., belongs to
the same family of plants as Lady's Mantle. The plant is
gathered when in flower, from June to August.
The history of this herb, as with many others, goes back a
long way and it was known to the Ancient Egyptians.
Agrimony has great healing properties for inflammation
of the throat and mouth. Remember this in cases of
tonsillitis, throat disorders, thrush or inflammation of the
mucous membrane of the mouth. Gargling with this tea clears
the voice for singers and public speakers. The leaves are
excellent for anaemia and wounds and are used successfully
for rheumatism, lumbago, digestive trouble, hardening of the
liver and spleen disorders. Drink up to 2 cupfuls a day.
Everyone should make the effort to have an Agrimony
bath once or twice a year (see "directions"). Children with
scrofulous sores should have one daily. Agrimony, because
of its astringent and healing qualities, is one of our most
valued herbs. Dr. Shierbaum says: "A cup of Agrimony
tea drunk three times a day is a remedy for enlargement
of the heart, stomach and lungs as well as kidney and bladder
disorders, if you drink it over a period." Agrimony ointment,
which is used in a similar way to Calendula ointment, is of
benefit in varicose veins and sores on the lower legs
{see "directions"). For disorders of the liver mix 100 gm. of
Agrimony, 100 gm. of Bedstraw and 100 gm. of Woodruff
(Asperula odorata). Drink a cup of this tea on an empty stomach
and sip 2 cupfuls during the day.


Infusion: 1 teaspoon of Agrimony to 1/4 litre of boiling water,
allow to draw for a short while.

Herb Bath: 200 gm. of herbs for 1 bath.

Infusion for liver disorders: Blend equal parts of
Agrimony, Bedstraw and Woodruff. Use 1 heaped teaspoon
to 1 cup of water, infuse for a short time.

Ointment: 1 heaped double handful of finely chopped leaves,
flowers and stems to 250 gm. of lard.

For more information on Maria Treben, her life's works and her healing
experiences, go to: Swedish Bitters


Amy said...

We had some of these in our yard this year after they came over from the little piece of wilderness next door. I was wondering what they were! The burs certainly look evil!

Barbarapc said...

What a wonderful piece on the herb - imagine scrufulous sores - yuck. Thank goodness for modern hygene and medicine.

Anonymous said...

Hi, thanks for stopping by gardenpath, and leading me back here! Interesting blog--have you ever tried to comb burs out of a poodle??

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Gardenpath: No Poodles but my Pekingese gave me problems a couple of times.

Barbara: I know! Things were bad when they use to think too many baths made one sick. The sores should have been a hint that this one was wrong.

Amy: Those burrs are a so hard to get off. And when you try they fall apart and you get even more stuck on you. They just want to hang on with their little barbs. Pull them up and get rid of them!!

Anonymous said...

I'm battling these burrs in my raspberry patch! Mom is trying to make me use weed killer but I refuse to use chemicals, so I'm stuck with pulling those nasty plants out!

Some advice I've heard on how to get burrs off pets:
Use a spray-on conditioner such as ShowSheen (horse product). The burrs pull off much easier; or use a creme rinse before your pet goes out. Someone else uses a dessert fork to get them off! Good luck!