Heracleum persicum benefits and side effects (Persian hogweed)

Heracleum persicum is a perennial and flowering herb which grows to a height of 150-200 cm. The many-stemmed plant has a red-brown base. In this post, we will talk about heracleum persicum benefits, medicinal uses and side effects.

Heracleum persicum benefits and side effects

Persian hogweed plant is bristly haired, hollow, and 50 mm thick. The flowers are white with 5 petals and outer corollas are slightly zygomorphic and 15-30 mm wide. It has 5 stamens and the sepals are stunted.

The stalked leaves are alternate, lower side densely hairy top glabrous, pinnate with 5-7 leaflets broadly lobed. Fruit broadly obovate with slightly ridged schizocarp. It flowers from July to September. 

Common names of Heracleum persicum plant

The common name for this plant is Persian hogweed. It also has the name of Tromso palm in Norway. Other names include golpar and angelica. 

Botanical name and familyof Persian hogweed

Its botanical name is Heracleum persicum. It belongs to the Apiaceae family. 

Geological places where hogweed plant grows

Its origin is in Caucasia in the Middle East. You find it growing natively in Iran. After introduction in 1830, it grows well in Norway. You also find it in Sweden. 

Heracleum persicum benefits and medicinal uses

This plant and its extracts have been in use for mankind since the Palaeolithic age (50,000 years ago). The seeds of Persian hogweed plant are a spice used for cooking. They flavor rice dishes with the petals of the flower.

The use of hogweed in cooking is to reduce the gas formed in the intestines especially when eating beans, potatoes, and lentils. Butterflies and sheep have been observed to eat medicinal plant when they are sick. 

1. Heracleum persicum is an antioxidant

Use of golpar extracts helps patients as the study using Heracleum persicum showed. The oxidative stress reduced significantly in those undergoing coronary angiography.

The scavenging property of the essential oils did prove that the use of the extract is beneficial. Free radicals are the cause of many major diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. 

2. Anti-inflammatory

The plant shows definite anti-inflammatory properties. It is therefore useful for treating diseases like arthritis and gout. These are inflammations of the joint of the bone and can cause extreme pain. By decreasing the swelling, the pain is brought down in the patients with arthritis and gout. 

3. Analgesic properties

Investigations were made into the analgesic properties of this plant. It was observed that there is good analgesic property and that the use of the plant is recommended for treating skin wounds. Application of the extract of the plant on the wounds helped to disinfect them and prevent the infection from spreading. 

4. Effect on coronary diseases

Study of the lipid levels in groups of patients with coronary disease showed there was significant decrease in the serum triglyceride levels after the patient was administered Heracleum persicum extracts. The short term study did not point at any significant improvement. You can have the supplement for long periods and see if this makes a difference. 

5. Treat fungal disease

One of the common fungal diseases is athlete’s foot. This occurs mostly in people with a weakened immune system.  It also occurs if the person is a diabetic or undergoing cancer treatment. Apply the paste of the Heracleum persicum flowers on the affected area. Leave it to dry. Do this twice a day until the infection is brought under control.It can cure athlete’s foot.

6. Antimicrobial action

Use of antimicrobials helps stop the growth of microorganisms. For instance, antibiotics help stop the growth bacteria. You can use the extract of Heracleum persicum as an antibiotic. Apply this solution in the places where the microorganisms grow. 

7. Lipid profile

The study of the lipid profile suggests that the use of the extract of the Persian hogweed is useful in improving the health of patients with heart disease. 

8. Treatment for convulsions

This plant is very effective in treating convulsions. This is due to the presence of triterpenes, terpenoids, and alkaloids. Early treatment is necessary to keep the seizures under control. Having a glass of the infusion made from the leaves of the plant will help to keep the frequency of the seizures low. 

9. Immunomodulatory properties

Some of the immunomodulatory properties such as suppression of T-cell proliferation, termination and suppression of B cell proliferation are useful for controlling the tissue regeneration in muscle, bone, and cartilage. You can treat immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, graft-versus-host disease, and sepsis. It is also useful for gene therapy. Use the extract of the plant for effective treatment. 

10. Infertility

The Persian hogweed plant is investigated to study its effect on folliculogenesis and ovarian tissue. Studies show that the extract of the plant may have inhibitory effect on folliculogenesis. So, use of the Heracleum persicum extract could cause infertility in females. 

11. Anti-Candida Activity

The antimicrobial activity is well pronounced when we use the extract of the golpar plant. The fungus candida grows due to the presence of yeast. Usually, the Lactobacillus bacteria help control the growth of yeast. If this does not happen, then you must use the extract of Persian hogweed to put down the candida infection. 

12. Anti-diabetic property

The use of hogweed extracts helped in establishing the reduction of the markers for diabetes in patients. Two of the major risk factors are hypertriglyceridemia and hypercholesterolemia for diabetes.

The most commonly occurring diseases are atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. These conditions occur after the incidence of diabetes in the patient. Use of the extract helps to decrease these risk factors significantly. 

Side effects of Heracleum persicum

The juice from the plant is toxic. If it comes in contact with the skin, it induces sensitivity to sunlight. The person will experience itching, redness, eczema, and stinging. A few may experience third degree burns. The symptoms last for one year. The seeds of the Persian hogweed plant will kill off the neighboring plants. So, one must be careful when you plant it in the garden.

Conclusion

Because of the toxicity of the juice of the heracleum persicum leaves, it is best to take care when you handle Persian hogweed. It is a wonderful spice when used for cooking beans and potatoes. It also makes an attractive ornamental plant but it could become invasive so you must be careful. 

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heracleum_persicum

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4971554/

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Anoop Sharma

About Anoop Sharma

Anoop Sharma is an IT professional, freelance health writer and creator of www.medicinalplantsanduses.com. He is passionate about helping others learn about health issues and their natural remedies, yoga and healthy food.

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