This weed is easily recognizable by its large, three-parted, needle-sharp, yellowish spines sitting at the base of the leaves. The flowers are greenish, inconspicuous, unisexual and monoecious. Stamen flowers sit in the form of dense spherical baskets at the ends of the stems. Pistillate flowers are located in the leaf axils. Stem erect, strongly branched, glossy, covered with hairs, 25-60 cm tall. The leaves are short-petiolate, three-lobed, small, bright green above, whitish below. Blooms from July to autumn. When the fruits ripen, the involucre of pistillate flowers expands and forms a hard false fruit (burr) covered with hooked spines 8-12 mm long, 4-5 mm wide. The fruits of the cocklebur are firmly attached to the clothes of passers-by or the fur of animals and are carried far.
It grows on the streets, pastures, weedy places, in crops.
For medicinal purposes, herbs, seeds and roots are used. Both types of cocklebur, especially prickly, are rich in iodine.
Preparations from these plants in folk medicine are successfully used to treat the thyroid gland, they take cocklebur for diarrhea (even bloody).
Fresh grass juice in the form of a tincture is given to patients with urticaria: children from 2 to 10 drops, depending on age and individual sensitivity, adults – 15-20 drops per dose. Fresh juice – with tumors in the throat, urticaria, lichen.
The tincture of the whole plant in vodka is drunk for goiter, the whole plant is brewed as tea and drunk for cancer, the decoction of the root is for skin diseases, the whole plant is for urticaria.
Decoction: 1 tbsp. a spoonful of herbs in a glass of boiling water. Boil within 10 minutes, use inside 1 cup 3 times every day. For diarrhea and dysentery, even bloody diarrhea, it is better to take a decoction of the root and seeds.
Outwardly: for skin diseases (eczema, lichen, scrofulous scabs, rashes and fungal infections), rub fresh cocklebur leaves (but without thorns) and lubricate the affected areas with them. In winter, you can use a decoction of the root or the whole plant. A decoction of cocklebur is washed (popularly) after shaving, especially if there are pimples and lichen on the face. A decoction of cocklebur causes a burning sensation, so its use requires some caution.