Spiny Restharrow plant - Ononis Spinosa (Fabaceae)

Medicinal Use of Spiny Restharrow – Ononis Spinosa (Fabaceae)


Spiny perennial with 3 small leaflets per leaf, bright pink, pea-like flowers, and small seed pods.

Habitat & Cultivation

A relatively common European plant, spiny restharrow thrives in dry grassland and along roadsides.

Part Used



Spiny restharrow root contains phenols, lectins, triterpenoids, and a volatile oil (comprising mainly trans-anethole). The volatile oil in the root is diuretic; the non-volatile oil content is anti-diuretic. A decoction of the root has an anti-diuretic effect, as the volatile oil is lost in the steam. If a diuretic is desired, the root is made into an infusion.

Medicinal Actions & Uses

The root is used as a diuretic and to prevent kidney and bladder stones. It is of value in a range of urinary system problems, including stones, gout, and cystitis. For excess fluid retention, spiny restharrow is best taken as a short-term treatment, in the form of an infusion.