Scientific Name: Daucuscarota
Common Name: Queen Anne’s Lace, wild carrot
Range: throughout the United States; found in fields, meadows, waste places, roadsides, fence rows, and disturbed habitats
Origin: native to Europe
Botanical description: Queen Anne’s Lace has feathery, finely divided leaves and a stem that rise 2-4 feet tall. The showy white flower is shaped like an
umbrella and is made up of many small flowers in a lace-like pattern. At the center is a purplish-black floret. The root of Queen Anne’s Lace is thick and
resembles a carrot. When in bloom, Queen Anne’s Lace looks like no other flower; without the showy white umbrella of florets, the leaves of the plant look
like those of the domestic carrot and a pair of deadly relatives, poison hemlock and fool’s parsley.
What’s in a name: The word carrot is Celtic and means red of color; the species name, Daucus, comes from the Greek word dais, which means to burn,
signifying Queen Anne’s Lace’s pungent and stimulating qualities.
All in the family: Queen Anne’s Lace is a member of the Apiaceae, or parsley, family. It is the ancestor of the domestic carrot, and is related to
parsley, and the aforementioned poison hemlock and fool’s parsley.
Cultural uses: Traditionally, tea made from the root of Queen Anne’s Lace has been used as diuretic to prevent and eliminate kidney stones, and to rid
individuals of worms. Its seeds have been used for centuries as a contraceptive; they were prescribed by physicians as an abortifacient, a sort of “morning
after” pill. The seeds have also been used as a remedy for hangovers, and the leaves and seeds are both used to settle the gastrointestinal system. It is still
used by some women today as a contraceptive; a teaspoon of seeds are thoroughly chewed, swallowed and washed down with water or juice starting
just before ovulation, during ovulation, and for one week thereafter. Grated wild carrot can be used for healing external wounds and internal ulcers. The
thick sap is used as a remedy for cough and congestion. The root of Queen Anne’s Lace can be eaten as a vegetable or in soup.
Active compounds: Queen Anne’s Lace contains flavonoids, essential oils, vitamins B and C, pectin, lecithin, glutamine, phosphatide and cartotin, a vitamin A precursor
Research: Chinese research has confirmed the function of Queen Anne’s Lace seeds as an abortifacient; other research has shown the plant to be a
bactericidal, a diuretic, a hypotensive, and an effective treatment for parasites.
In lore, legend and life: Queen Anne’s Lace is said to have been named after Queen Anne of England, an expert lace maker. When she pricked her finger
with a needle, a single drop of blood fell into the lace, thus the dark purple floret in the center of the flower.