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Home » Plant infomation

Bidens pilosa  L.


Botanical Name


Bidens pilosa L.

English Name


Black jack, Farmer’s Friend, Cobbler’s pegs, Beggar’s ticks, Pitchforks



Bidens sundaica Blume, Bidens leucorrhiza (Lour.) DC., Bidens pilosa L. var. minor (Blume) Sherff





General Info


An erect annual or perennial herb with branching habit to about 1m high. Leaves are deeply divided into three toothed lobes, with the terminal lobe larger than the other two. Flowers are yellow but are tiny and held in dense terminal clusters in a widely branching flowering head; each flower cluster has four or five short, broad, white "petals" but these do not persist for very long. Seeds are black, about 1cm long, with 2 or 3 barbed awns at the tip.

Herb Effects

Anti-inflammatory, styptic and alterative (decoction of the leaves); antirheumatic and analgesic (whole plant)


Plants For A Future
PROSEA (Plant Resources of South-East Asia) Foundation



Medicinal Use

Used against coughs, angina, headache, fever, diabetes, constipation, diarrhoea, intestinal worms, stomach-ache, toothache, poisoning, muscular pains and as a bath to treat itching and rheumatic pains (infusion or decoction, or the juice of the leaves); applied on the skin to treat inflammations, burns, on wounds to stop bleeding and on ulcers (crushed leaves); used externally to extract pus from boils (crushed flower-heads); applied on eyelids to treat eye infections (decoction of the leaves or roots); as a mouthwash against toothache (tincture of the flowers and leaves); roots are chewed against toothache.



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