Description and diagnostic features
It is a plant with the leaves growing flat on the ground. The leaves and fruits have spikes on them. The male and female flowers are carried on different plants.
The thick vertical root grows like a peg into the earth.
It is especially useful as a remedy for irritable exhaustion like the later stages of a cold or flu when you lie down flat like the leaves of the plant and act very prickly towards everyone. Don’t touch me!
The dried root is very strong so do not use more than a thumbnail width of dried slice of root, otherwise you might just retch badly. A little is good, a lot lot is not better.
Often found growing among river stones near the banks of rivers.
The spiked seeds are dispersed by hooves and shoes walking over them.