Botanical Name: Cuscuta
- English: Strangle Tare, Chinese Dodder, Perilla Seed
- Also, known as: fteemoon, Aftimoun, Aftimun, Atermoyer, Beggarweed, , Cuscuta, Cuscuta campestris, Cuscuta chinensis, Cuscuta epithymum, Cuscuta japonica, Cuscuta planiflora, Cuscutae, Cuscute, Cuscute Chinoise, Cuscute à Petites Fleurs, Cuscute du Thym, Devil's Guts, Dodder of Thyme, Field Dodder, Hellweed, Japanese Dedder, Lesser Dodder, Petite Cuscute, Scaldweed, Semen Cuscutae, Tu Si Zi, Tu Sizi.
Parts Used: Seed
Dodder is an annual seed-bearing parasitic vine in the dodder family. Its thin, thread-like, yellow or orange stems grow rapidly entwining and covering their host plants. Cuscate is the most common genus and is found throughout the US and Canada. Of the 50 species that occur, most are found in tropical and warm-temperate areas but some species also occur in cooler areas including St. Louis where they can grow from seed each year and infest herbaceous and small woody plants. Since seeds can be difficult to separate from some agricultural crops dodder has been spread widely through agriculture. Dodder seeds germinate in soil and can live on their own for 5 to 10 days until they are about a foot tall. If they have not found a suitable host by this time the seedlings will die. Seedlings that find a suitable host twine around the plant and insert haustoria into the tender stem. The haustoria penetrates and taps the plant's vascular system for water, minerals and nutrients. Plants are weakly photosynthetic, but most produce very little food on their own. They rely upon their host plant for survival. As the vine taps the host plant its connection to the soil is severed. Small, white, bell-shaped flowers form in late summer and early fall and can produce copious amounts of seed. Plants are annual and are killed by frost. Plants regrow from seed each year.
How to use:
The basic method for dried herbs and flowers is, take 2-3 tablespoons of dried herb in a cup or teapot. Pour hot water over it and cover it with lid for 10-30 minutes. Hot water is needed to draw out the antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, flavonoids and volatile oils from the botanicals. Strain and squeeze out as much liquid as possible and enjoy!
- You can sweeten your herbal tea with bit of honey, natural fruit juice, stevia leaves powder and or licorice root powder.
- You can make ice cubes or pops by freezing tea in ice tray or pop molds.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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