Daucus carota. N.O. Umbelliferae.
Synonym ► Bird’s Nest.
Habitat ► Wastes, pastures and field borders.
Features ► The branched stems of one to three feet high are tough and bristly. The whole plant is hairy, and the leaves are oblong and bipinnate, with acute segments. Blossoming in June and July, the umbel of white flowers usually contains one crimson flower in the centre. The root tapers, is yellowish-white, sweetish, and faintly aromatic. Wren tells us that “in taste and odour it resembles the garden carrot, but the root is small and white, not large.” Ferrier, however, says of this root, “no resemblance in taste or colour to the cultivated carrot.” Our own opinion is that Wild Carrot tastes like a rather distant relative of the household carrot—which it probably is.
Part used ► The whole plant.
Action ► Pronouncedly diuretic in action, as well as de-obstruent and stimulant.
Wild Carrot naturally, therefore, takes a prominent place in many formulae for the treatment of dropsy, gravel, retention of urine, and bladder trouble generally. Either an infusion or decoction may be prepared in the usual proportions, and doses of 2 fl. ounces taken three or four times daily.
Culpeper comments ► “Wild Carrots belong to Mercury, and therefore breaketh wind, and removeth stitches in the sides, provoketh urine and women’s courses, and helpeth to break and expel the stone.”