The Spanish Needle is scientifically called Bidens Pilosa. It is a medical herb that is native to Southern America. Although it is largely considered a weed, it has become common a source of medicine and food in many parts of the world. This annual herb grows aggressively and it could climb to a height of about 2 meters. The Bidens Pilosa’s leaves are arranged oppositely and have a resinous flavor. The leaves can be eaten in stews, raw, or stored dried. It is a natural-growing plant in Jamaica and it is sometimes called by different names, such as Needle Grass, Beggars Tick, Black Jack, Demon Spike Grass, and Broomstick.

How to use Spanish Needle

The Spanish Needle has a variety of health benefits and it may be used in different ways. The leaves may be used as a potherb or eaten raw in a similar way to green vegetables. The Bidens Pilosa may be cooked alongside dishes such as cabbage and callaloo to produce a healthy and tasty meal filled with a lot of health benefits. When crushed, the leaves of this plant produce a sap that can also be used on fresh wounds to speed up blood clotting.

Uses across the world

It is a very important plant in Eastern Africa, where it is referred to as Michicha. In Vietnam, soldiers would consume the herb as a vegetable during the war. This led to it being referred to as the “soldier vegetable.” Traditional Chinese medicine considers this plant as a medicinal herb and it is referred to as “Xian Feng Cao.” Traditional Bafumbira medicine applies this medicinal herb on fresh wounds to hasten blood clotting and it’s called “Inyabalasanya.” In Southern Africa, the extract is used in curing malaria. In Jamaica and different parts of the world, it is used in making herbal tea. This herbal tea is mostly used as a general beverage, antibiotics, or in treating flatulence and worms. The Spanish needle can be purchased online at Island Herbs & Spices.

Health Benefits of Spanish Needle

This herb’s seeds, leaves, and roots have antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antidysentery properties. The herb also has antimalarial properties and it serves as a diuretic. The extracts from this herb are used in certain cultures to treat malaria. The herb’s antiseptic properties make its extract used as a natural mouthwash. This is particularly useful in fighting odor-causing germs and also used in treating sore mouth and gums. The herb is effective in treating swellings, stomach ailments, colic, joint discomfort alongside flu and cold.

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