Dodder seeds, scientifically called Cuscuta campestris, belong to the Convolvulaceae family. It is an annual parasitic vine. Its thread-like yellowish stems twin over the host plants and grow rapidly over them. Dodder also has various other names, including Tu Si Zi, Beggarweed, Devil’s Guts, Dodder Of Thyme, Hellweed, Lesser Dodder, Scaldweed, and Strangle Tare.
Chinese dodder seed benefits have been known in the history of Chinese medicine since ancient times. It has been used for several health conditions, including treatment of kidney and liver issues.
Where Does Dodder Seeds Grow?
Dodder is native to temperate North America. About 170 species of Cuscuta grow mostly in the tropical and warm temperature zones where they can reach great heights on the host plant, producing good quality seeds. However, some species can also be found in colder regions but with limited growth.
Dodder breeds all over Europe, Asia, and southern Africa. Dodder favors coastline and hilly areas and is collected in the summertime. In China, it is primarily distributed in Liaoning, Jiangsu, Jilin, Shandong, Hebei, and Henan provinces. Its genus Cuscate is the most common and can be found throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Health Benefits Of Dodder Seeds
Investigations have shown that biologically active components such as alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, phenolics, lignans, tannins, and fatty acids are present in dodder. These plants have been found useful in various ways, including their antibacterial, antioxidant, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, antitumor properties.
Dodder plant is several phytoconstituents that have immense therapeutic value. This is the reason why dodder seed supplements are widely used. Its renowned benefits for health benefits include the following.
1. Antioxidant Effects
One species of dodder, C. reflexa, is known for its potent antioxidant effects. Dodder’s antioxidant property comes from its bioactive components, flavonoids, alpha-tocopherol, and rutin, as shown by phytochemical screening. The methanol extract of seed oil of C. pedicellata is found to be the most potent antioxidant. Other dodder species, including three Iranian species, C. approximate, C. monogyna, and C. campestris, were also reported to have a high concentration of phenolic compounds responsible for its antioxidant effects.
2. Anti-Inflammatory Potential
In vitro and in vivo tests in a study showed notable anti-inflammatory activity in the aqueous and alcoholic extracts of C. reflexa’s stem. It was found that the Inflammation was triggered by certain substances like lipopolysaccharide and histamine. It was observed that extracts limited the inflammatory response brought about by histamine and other pro-inflammatory mediators. This is believed to be associated with flavonoids, polyphenols, and phenols found in this plant. C. reflexa was reported to significantly inhibit Inflammation by decreasing edema by as much as 80 % in rats.
3. Antimicrobial Effects
Dodder seeds, particularly from the methanolic extract of C. reflexa, significantly suppress the activity of a wide range of bacteria, including P. aeruginosa, S. aureus, S. dysenteriae, S. boydii, and E. coli, with a notable zone of inhibition. C. australis also shows immense antibacterial potential.
4. Effect On The Reproductive System
While the C. reflexa have flavonoids that are said to exhibit an antifertility effect, other dodder species, including C. Chinensis, in its extract and isolated form is reported to improve the reproductive systems in both men and women. It also has other potential benefits for men, including:
- Enhancement of penile erection
- Improvement in erectile dysfunction
- Improved infantile uterus
- Better motility of sperm
Dodder seeds work by enhancing the immune system, showing that the correct doses may improve the net weight of the thymus and spleen, hence enhancing immune response.
6. Effect On Bone And Cartilage
Dodder seeds are also found to improve bone density and encourage hyaline cartilage repair. Other benefits include toning kidneys, treating liver disorders, improving vision, strengthening the spleen, easing diarrhea, and Calming the Fetus. Diverse potential therapeutic properties of dodder seeds confirmed by evidence include antitumor effects, improved immune response, improvement in memory, anti-aging activity, antihypertensive potential, anti-osteoporotic effects, reno-protective activity etc.
Dodder Seeds In Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective
Adaptogenic herbs like dodder seeds are used to help with several diseases due to their availability, low cost, and medicinal properties. Cuscuta is one such plant that has immense importance in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Its species are rich in various phytochemicals, which give it its therapeutic properties. Several parts of the plant, including its seeds, stem, and the whole plant, are used to treat diverse conditions as the prescription.
Dodder Seeds are diversely used to treat various body imbalances and deficiencies such as qi, blood, yin, yang deficiency and organ deficiencies including those of the heart, spleen, lung, liver, and kidney.
Dodder seeds have been used in Chinese Medicine for centuries to ‘tonify’ yang. It serves to tonify and restore kidney and liver balance. Moreover, it encourages normal digestion, eye function, reproductive health, and urinary tract health.
As for men, the most frequent presentations for men’s health are associated with the balance of yin and yang in their bodies. Yin and yang deficiencies are the most common types, followed by blood stagnation and phlegm accumulation concerning common male issues. Yin and yang deficiencies mainly occur due to poor lifestyle choices but can also occur due to the aging process.
Dodder Seeds serve as a natural solution for male infertility by enhancing sperm mobility and resolving low sperm count issues. This herb increases testosterone levels in men by triggering Luteinizing hormones.
Dodder Seed Supplements
There are diverse forms of dodder seed supplements, including powder, tablets, or capsules. It can be safely taken with food and other vitamins.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.