This is a blog about the pursuits of Naturalist Alan Russo to incorporate all things Natural, especially Plants, into his daily life. Living close to Nature has always been a passion of mine and I try, with natures help, to live a Healthy lifestyle for myself and for the Earth.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Teasel Root

 I have always loved the Teasel plant. It didn't grow where I lived, or where I live now for that matter, so any time I saw it in my travels I always stopped to admire it. Supposedly the plant gets its name because it was used to "tease" or cart wool way back when. If you have ever seen the dried flowers you can see that this is certainly possible. 
  Relatively recently, I have been reading a lot about how Teasel Root has been used successfully for helping cure Lyme disease, even in cases that have been resistant to medical treatment for many years. Intrigued by the fact that this beautiful plant has such powerful Medicinal qualities, and the fact that I really liked the plant, set me on a quest to find some seeds to plant in my Medicinal Herb Garden. After looking to my usual sources of seeds without much luck, I hit the internet to search for the seeds. I ended up, of all places, on E-Bay. Turns out there are lots of people jumping on the Teasel/Lyme Disease band wagon. I don't mean this in a negative way, actually, I was glad to see it was easy to find the seeds for myself.
 Teasel is a biennial, which means it takes two years to flower. This is a good thing because, as you have read here many times before, it best to pick the roots in early Spring and late Fall when the plants are not in flower. So, I planted my seeds last spring and the plants grew well through the summer.  I planted my seeds too close together so I have a big dense patch of Teasel in my garden that I plan to separate to a new patch before the weather starts to get warm. I just hope disturbing them this late in the game doesn't throw off their flowering cycle.
Densely packed Teasel Plants
I did dig up a few plants to photograph a single plant, check out the roots and to clean them to make some tincture out of them.
Single Teasel Rosette
Root Stock
  Now, I usually write about plants I have used so I can speak of my experience, but this plant is a Pursuit in progress. I did use the Tincture a couple of times when I felt a cold coming on. I added it to the usual entourage of tinctures I use when I feel a cold coming on and the cold never developed. Obviously, there was no control in this experiment and there is no way of knowing whether the Teasel made any difference or not, but as I learn more I will learn how to use the plant in better ways. Teasel Root is used in Chinese Medicine and there is a lot of info online about its uses. I have not studied Chinese Herbal Medicine in depth so I often find the nomenclature a bit confusing but I plan to talk to an Acupuncturist I have gone to in the past to get the scoop. 
  I will  also post photos of the plants in flower over the summer and continue to update anything else I have learned and experienced in using this new plant in my herb garden.


  1. Thank you for this most interesting post Alan. I discovered a teasel growing in a small raised Jerusalem artichoke bed so now that I know I have one, I will keep the seed and will give them their own bed :)

    1. Thank YOU for the nice comment. I wish you luck in your endeavors. Let me know if you use the plant with success.