Thursday, June 2, 2011


Two weeks ago, while visiting our son in Tel Aviv, my husband noticed a small plant, a weed he thought, trailing along on the ground in the court yard. It had very little,  fingernail size again, rather pretty yellow flowers, so he got his camera and took some beautiful photos.
 At home we checked that plant at the Internet and - WOW - what a surprise awaited us! It is called kotev mazui קוטב מצוי in Hebrew, its scientific name is tribulus terrestris and in English it is called Small Caltrops and Goatshead. As it turns out this plant, its fruit actually, has a lot of medicinal properties. Urinary disorders, kidney problems, diseases of the heart can be treated with it. Caltrops is widely used in Ayurvedic Medicine, which originates in India, and which is a "system of complementary and alternative medicine" (Wikipedia). Ayurvedia is a Sanskrit word and means "the complete knowledge for long life" (Wikipedia) and there this plant is called Gokshura, which is a Sanskrit word as well.
The meaning of the name Gokshura is explained in this website I found: "As it pricks the feet of the cattle grazing in the grounds", and indeed there are tiny bristles on its leaves. A lot more information can be found here. 
In any case, this is a pretty and interesting and useful "weed", not to be underestimated at all - and as often in life, it was worth to pay attention to a small thing, and investigate further!
Photographs by Uri Eshkar.


Bernstein said...

Hallo Yael,
was für wunderbare Aufnahmen sind Uri wieder gelungen. Die Blüten sehen wunderhübsch aus. Da mag der deutsche Name "Erdburzeldorn" so gar nicht passen. "Erdsternchen" - ein weiterer Name - ist da doch viel hübscher und trifft es genau.
Außerdem habe ich nun gelesen, dass die Pflanze die Testosteronproduktion anregt und bei Bodybildern zum Muskelaufbau sehr beliebt ist. Außerdem wurde bei Ratten eine potenzfördernde Wirkung festgestellt. Stark pilztötend ist sie auch noch - unglaublich, was diese kleine Pflanze alles kann.
Nun habe ich wieder was dazugelernt, danke.
GlG Inbar

Yael said...

Inbar, you are just wondeful!!! Thank you for finding the German name for this plant and some other uses for it!
Yes, it increases muscle tones and is often used for infertility, erectile dysfunction, and low libido - all true!!!
Told you it is something, this little plant!!!

Dawn of LaTouchables said...

Uri's photos are 'prima', as always! And I love how you can find plants with such incredible properties...another fascinating post, Yael!

Hilde said...

Very interesting, Yael, to learn that this little flower has such powerful properties! Both the flowers and leaves are just beautiful.

Wonderful photos :)

Eva said...

Wenn man sich ganz weit niederbeugt, entdeckt man die größten Wunder...

Pesky Cat Designs said...

What a unique looking plant and flower. Great job finding out what it is. Amazing all the info we find on the internet!

Clare said...

Hi - i was listening to an interesting interview on the net the other night - it was all about survival should anything go wrong - as we have seen in Japan. the suggestion was that we should learn about edible plants / weeds that grow around us - i guess you could add useful medicinal weeds and plants too. i think we need to consider these things, i suppose its about being aware, more mindful of our surroundings and its fun to learn. lovely pics as usual!

2 B's World said...

Huhu Yael,
oft sind es doch die kleinen Dinge im Leben, die Großes bewirken können. Sie sind es wert, daß man sich ihnen zuwendet und sich mit ihnen beschäftigt.
Schön, wie ihr diese kleinen Dinge beachtet und hier zeigt. Und vor allem mit so vielen interessanten und nützlichen Informationen.

Liebe Grüße von Birgit

Irmi said...

Liebe Yael,
Heute lese ich endlich nach, was Blogger mir bislang verwehrt hat.
Wieder herrliche Texte und Fotos.
Liebe Grüße