Cuscuta

Cuscuta Benefits, What is Cuscuta

Cuscuta benefits, evidence-based information on herbs and botanicals, What is Cuscuta , Cuscuta health benefits, home remedies and natural cures.

Cuscuta is the name of a group of plants in the morning glory family, of which the species Cuscuta ep-ithymum is most commonly used in healing. A member of the Cuscutaceae family, species of cuscuta are found almost everywhere in the world, although cuscuta is more often called dodder in English-speaking countries. Other names include hellweed, devil's gut, beggarweed, strangle tare, scaldweed, dodder of thyme, greater dodder, and lesser dodder. In Chinese, cuscuta seeds are called tu si zi.

Cuscuta is a parasitic plant. It has no chlorophyll and cannot make its own food by photosynthesis. Instead, it grows on other plants, using their nutrients for its growth and weakening the host plant. Agriculturalists

consider cuscuta a destructive weed and attempt to eradicate it. It parasitizes wild and cultivated plants, and is especially destructive to such commercially valuable crops as flax, alfalfa, beans, and potatoes. It also grows on such common ornamentals as English ivy, petunias, dahlias, and chrysanthemums. For medicinal purposes, herbalists prefer C. epithymum that grows on thyme.

Cuscuta is a leafless plant with branching stems ranging in thickness from thread-like filaments to heavy cords. The seeds germinate like other seeds. The stems begin to grow and attach themselves to nearby host plants. Once they are firmly attached to a host, the cuscuta root withers away. The mature plant lives its entire life without attachment to the ground. The stems of cuscuta are used in Western herbalism and the seeds are used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

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