Wild teasel (Dipsacus fullonum, syn. Dipsacus sylvestris)

Wild teasel (Dipsacus fullonum, syn. Dipsacus sylvestris)

Other common names: Fuller’s teasel (wild species, as opposed to the cultivated species, which may also be called Fuller’s teasel…both varieties may also be referred to as “common teasel”).

The following information may not be re-posted, copied or published without my permission and appropriate credit given. Please contact me via email (listed on the About page) if you wish to re-publish any of the information on my blog.

Wild teasel

Diagram courtesy of Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 1992

Family:  Dipsacaceae


Diaphoretic, diuretic, aperient laxative, stomachic, digestive tonic, liver tonic, bitter, anti-inflammatory, circulatory stimulant, antimicrobial, analgesic.


The root is harvested in early autumn of the plant’s first year. After the first year, the root loses its medicinal potency.

Part used: Root.


Theophylline, theine (caffeine), tannins, volatile oils, boheic and gallotannic acids.

Indications: Used to ease constipation, inflammation and pain,  improve digestive function, tone and cleanse the liver, treat jaundice, boost appetite, detoxify the body, and has been implemented in treatments for Lyme disease. It has the ability to target the Lyme disease spirochetes, and eliminate them via the bloodstream (this process may cause detox side effects during the treatment – be sure to drink plenty of water). Can act as a nervous system stimulant.

Teasel root

Photo courtesy of http://www.gesund-im-net.de.

Medicinal preparation: 


The root is dried and used in decoctions, tinctures and other preparations.


Decoctions, ointments and poultices can be made with the root, and applied to skin irritations, abscesses, swellings, cuts, warts and other topical injuries. It can also be used in an eyewash.

Contraindications: Do not use if pregnant or nursing. Do not use in patients with severe kidney stones, obstructed bile duct or large gallstones, or those retaining water due to kidney disease. In the case of Lyme disease, do not use if there have been symptoms affecting the heart. Use caution if the patient has a sensitivity to caffeine or other stimulants. May cause anxiety in sensitive individuals, and anyone with a heart condition should consult their physician before using.

I suggest consulting a pharmacist or physician before starting any herbal supplement if you are taking a prescription medication or have serious underlying health concerns. 

Energetic/traditional use: Irish folk lore says you should leave teasel on graves, so that banshees may use them as combs. It is considered to be a protective herb, warding off negativity and intruders with its spiky flower heads.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is intended as general education on herbs and is not intended to take the place of medical care. Please consult a health care professional before embarking on any health regime.

2 responses to “Wild teasel (Dipsacus fullonum, syn. Dipsacus sylvestris)

  1. I like to know how people find my blog, so here’s how I found yours. 🙂

    In my meditative waking dream encounter with Teasel, she kept poking me, over and over to get a rise out of me. Then she started insulting me, saying I was ugly and smelled bad. She was every bully I’ve faced as a child. But this time I took it in stride and found a positive to every teasing taunt, until she ran out of insults, and with begrudging respect answered my questions about what she was good for. I only knew she was good for Lyme disease and detox, not having looked her up first.

    I saw her using a branch with a red hot tip to poke and burn away small spots on the skin and further inside. I also saw her laugh as she made someone pee themselves and poop their pants. My best books made no mention of any of this. A Modern Herbal confirmed some of it from Culpeper, saying it was cleansing as a cosmetic, eyewash, “for warts and wens, but also against cankers and fistulas.” So that’s the discutient aspect covered.

    After that I searched for “teasel laxative” and found your blog, which also included the diuretic property. So, intuition confirmed. 🙂

    Thank you for that, and for the bit of lore about Banshees!

    • Wow thank you so much for this comment, it means a lot to me, knowing that your spirit journey led you to my blog. I do a lot of dream journeying myself, and I am quite honoured 🙂

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