Table of Contents
- Edible Uses of Queen Anne’s-lace (Wild Carrot)
- Medicinal Uses of Queen Anne’s-lace (Wild Carrot)
- Alternative Uses of Wild Carrot
- Growing Daucus Carota
In Ojibwe, okaadaak means carrot, and Queen Anne’s-lace is literally a wild carrot. It’s another likely garden escapee, naturalized to Haliburton, and a surprisingly edible and medicinal wild plant. (If you’re not possibly pregnant, anyway!)
Edible Uses of Queen Anne’s-lace (Wild Carrot)
The whole plant smells distinctly of carrot. But the edible roots are white instead of orange. They are not as sweet as regular carrots and have a tough woody core. But this taproot is edible when young. It’s older and second year roots that are inedible. It’s good to know that if cultivated carrots aren’t available for some reason, we have a wild substitute. Cook them like a carrot or dry and roast to try as a coffee alternative.
Fully grown fresh root grated or juiced and used for carrot juice, but being so woody I’m not sure how much you’d get. I’ll try it sometime!
The seeds are aromatic and can be used to flavor stews, salads, etc. Add the seed early, as cooking brings out the flavor. But don’t ingest the seeds if you are pregnant or trying to conceive.
Rich in vitamins A, B, and C.
Medicinal Uses of Queen Anne’s-lace (Wild Carrot)
Queen Anne’s-lace is primarily said to support these body systems:
Medicinal tags include Anthelmintic, Antilithic, Antiseptic, Carminative, Diuretic, Laxative, and Stimulant. See Medicinal tag key for more information.
Common usage includes the fleshy roots used as a poultice for wounds, ulcers and other sores. The leaves are also helpful. So it’s a great contender for healing salve mixes.
As a digestive aid, the carrot seeds are good for excess gas, but again, don’t ingest the seed if you’re a mom-to-be. The crushed seeds have been used as a morning after pill of sorts, the seed extract producing a weak estrogenic activity that inhibits implantation of the blastocyst, but I haven’t substantiated that further. Carrot seed combines well with what we’d consider “chai” or even fall flavors, over here, if you want to make it more palatable.
The seed contains a volatile oil, terpinen-4-ol, which is present in a handful of other plants like juniper (which we’ll cover soon!) and tea tree. Among a myriad of benefits it’s an antiseptic and may be helpful for a range of bladder and kidney conditions, even expelling worms. The seed pairs well with yarrow and bearberry for urinary tract infections.
Green Pharmacy‘s carrot listings include preventing cataracts, stroke, smoking cessation, treating amenorrhea, angina, asthma, diarrhea, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, liver problems, skin problems, and wrinkles.
Alternative Uses of Wild Carrot
My grandmother used to have us go pick the flowers, keeping the long stems. We’d go home and stick the bouquets of flowers in water, with food coloring… and wait. The flowers suck up the colored water and change. That was probably my first herbal crafting!
The seed oil has an orris-like scent and is used in perfumes and in personal care products.
Growing Daucus Carota
I hear it can’t be transplanted to the garden to produce a more fleshy, edible product, unlike say, chicory (one reference explained wild carrot as a “failed carrot”, escaped from the garden, so I guess that’s a one-way ticket in this case. You won’t get carrots from the seeds.) Sadly, it’s not native and can tend to be invasive here, though some folks keep it around for Eastern Black Swallowtail butterflies to use as a host plant for their caterpillars. However there are native plants for them, Golden Alexander being one host to swallowtails.
Don’t ingest the seed if pregnant or trying to conceive.
Carrot juice can be toxic if consumed in excessive amounts.
So many lookalikes, so it’s extra important to get familiar with this whole family of plants and poisonous plants like water hemlock, although in the end this plant was always easy to identify IMHO.
And the Usual Cautions:
1) Most medicinal herbs, if edible, are meant to be eaten in moderation, even sparingly. Some require extra preparation.
2) People can be allergic or sensitive to nearly any plant; try new herbs one at a time at your own risk.
3) For medicinal use, I must recommend receiving a diagnosis and working with a reputed health care provider. I generally do not post specific treatments and dosages because I think that is best between you and your health care provider, and ideally monitored.
4) Anyone pregnant, nursing, or taking prescription drugs should talk to a health care professional before adding new food items to their diet.
5) Many plants have look-a-likes, and sometimes they are poisonous.
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