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Queen Anne's Lace

Botanical Name

Daucus carota L. (sometimes referred to as subspecies carota)

Common Name

Queen Anne’s lace, wild carrot, bird’s nest


Apiaceae (formerly known as Umbelliferae)

Parts Used

The seeds are most often used medicinally; the flowers, leaves, and roots are sometimes used as food

Native To

Europe and southwestern

Harvesting Guidelines

Queen Anne's Lace, also known as wild carrot, is a common plant found in roadside and waste areas. When harvesting, it's important to choose areas that are free from contamination. The seeds are typically ready to harvest in late summer or early fall, after the flowering cycle has finished (usually after August). To harvest, simply snip off the entire umbel and hang it upside down in a paper or mesh bag in a dry, shady location to prevent the seeds from falling off as they dry. Once dried, the seeds can be separated from the stems. The roots can also be harvested in the fall.


Queen Anne's lace, also known as wild carrot, is a plant that belongs to the same genus and species as the domestic carrot. However, the wild carrot is a sub-species and is said to have more potent medicinal properties than its domestic counterpart. The domestication of wild carrots is believed to have taken place in Afghanistan before the 900s, but it wasn't until the 15th and 16th centuries in Europe that the orange color of the common cultivar was observed.(1)

Queen Anne's Lace, has a rich history of use in Native American cultures for both medicinal and culinary purposes. The blossoms were often infused to treat diabetes, while the root was used to improve appetite, treat skin and blood disorders, aid in gynecological issues, and act as a diuretic. Many Native American tribes, including the Oweekeno, Sanpoil, Nespelem, Kitasoo, Haisla, and Hanaksaila, also used the root as a food source. Today, Queen Anne's Lace is still used in herbal medicine for its various health benefits. (2)

Queen Anne's Lace, has a long history of use in traditional herbal medicine. In Kashmiri communities in India, it is commonly used to treat liver and circulatory disorders. In Lebanon, it is not only used for medicinal purposes but also as a food. The leaves can be added to salads, the roots are cooked and eaten, and the flower umbel can be fried and consumed. However, research suggests that the variety of Queen Anne's Lace found in Lebanon may have a different chemical makeup compared to other varieties, despite being classified as the same species. (3)

Queen Anne's Lace, also known as wild carrot, has a variety of medicinal properties. Chewing the seeds can help reduce gas and bloating, and Russian herbalists have used the seeds to expel intestinal worms. The plant also has antispasmodic properties, which can alleviate intestinal griping and colic. Recent research has shown that the volatile oils in carrot seed extract have significant anti-inflammatory properties, inhibiting COX-I and COX-II more effectively than drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin. Additionally, wild carrot seed oil has been found to have hepatoprotective properties in animal trials.(4)

Queen Anne's Lace has been used for centuries in traditional medicine for its skin healing properties. Its oil is commonly used in skincare products for its antioxidant and hydrating properties, as well as its ability to reduce scars, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone. In vitro studies have also shown that wild carrot seed extract has significant antioxidant and anticancer properties. Russian herbalists have used a poultice of boiled, mashed wild carrot root for skin injuries such as burns and cuts, while animal trials have shown that a cream containing wild carrot root extract can speed up wound healing and reduce scarring without causing skin irritation. (5)


Adult Dose (6)

Infusion: To make an infusion of aerial parts, use 1 cup of boiling water with 1 teaspoon of dried herb and infuse for 10 to 15 minutes, to be drunk three times a day. For an infusion of the seeds, use ¹/3 to 1 teaspoon per cup of boiling water, also to be drunk three times a day. *

Tincture: 1 to 2 ml (1:5 in 25%), three times a day. *

Whole seeds: One heaping teaspoonful to be eaten once daily.**

Topical: Carrot seed essential oil should be diluted prior to use


skin contact with fresh Queen Anne’s lace could trigger photosensitivity or contact dermatitis in some individuals. As there are some species of Apiaceae that can be very toxic, it’s important to be certain of plant identification when using species from this plant family. Poison hemlock is another species of the Apiaceae family, however, poison hemlock’s leaves and stems are smooth, while the leaves and stems of Queen Anne’s lace are hairy and slightly rough.




(2) Moerman, D. (2003). Native American Ethnobotany: A database of plants used as drugs, foods, dyes, fibers, and more, by Native Peoples of North America. [Website]. Retrieved on 7/24/2015 from

(3) Shebaby, W. N., Daher, C. F., El-Sibai, M., Bodman-Smith, K., Mansour, A., Karam, M. C., & Mroueh, M. (2015). Antioxidant and hepatoprotective activities of the oil fractions from wild carrot (Daucus carota ssp. carota). Pharmaceutical biology, (ahead-of-print), 1-10.

(4) Shebaby, W. N., El‐Sibai, M., Smith, K. B., Karam, M. C., Mroueh, M., & Daher, C. F. (2013). The antioxidant and anticancer effects of wild carrot oil extract. Phytotherapy Research, 27(5), 737-744.

(5)Patil, M. V. K., Kandhare, A. D., & Bhise, S. D. (2012). Pharmacological evaluation of ethanolic extract of Daucus carota Linn root formulated cream on wound healing using excision and incision wound model. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 2(2), S646-S655.

(6)Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical herbalism: The science and practice of herbal medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.


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