Ononis spinosa L. - Fabaceae - restharrow, Dorniger Hauhechel
Winter bald subshrub, 10 to 80 cm high, with strong, to 50 cm long taproots; stem branched, woody at base, spiny, leaves 3-foliolate; Native to Europe, West Asia, North Africa.
Root extracts of Onosis spinosa are diuretically active. The constituents of the roots are terpenes (trans-anethol and α-onocerin), β-sitosterol, and a complex mixture of flavonoids and isoflavonoids including rutin, kaempferol, genistein, formononetin and biochanin A.
[High-performance liquid chromatographic analysis of flavonoids from Ononis spinosa L., Pietta, P., Calatroni, A., Zio, C., Journal of Chromatography A, 280, 1983, 172-175]
The dried roots, harvested in autumn (Ononidis radix), are used as weak diuretic. „The roots have characteristic radiate structure in transverse section, due to broad medullary rays… The active ingredient for the diuretic effect is not yet known but it has been speculated that it could be α-onocerin, als known as onocol, a triterpene. It co-occurs with sterols, mainly sitosterol, and various phenolic acids… Small amounts of essential oil (up to 0.2%) are found, with trans-anethole, carvone and menthol as major constituents.“
[Medicinal Plants of the World. Ben-Erik Van Wyk and Michael Wink, Pretoria 2004, 220]
Köhler,F.E., Medizinal Pflanzen, vol.2 t.126 (1890)
© Rolf Marschner (2017), www.botanische-spaziergaenge.at