Herbs of the Holyland by Nissim Krispil

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Common name:


Synonym name:

Spiny burnet

Hebrew name:

סירה קוצנית

Scientific name:

Spinosum Sarcopoterium



Arabic name:

נטש / בילאן

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0.1-0.4 m
Flowering color:
Flowering period:
Growing areas:
The plant grows in terra rossa, Eolianite and sand-loam soils in the Mediterranean region of the country. It can also be found in the Negev mountains and desert.
Burnet is a thorny semi shrub, dense and in a form of a hemisphere, it is considered as the main plant of the Mediterranean scrublands over israel.
Burnet cannot coexist with Mediterranean woodland. The shade of the trees degenerate her growth, on the other hand the sunlight accelerates her development. Therefore, it crawls to areas full of sunlight and seizes them, and on the other hand, quickly withdrew in surfaces planted with trees.
The branches are thorny and tangled. At the beginning of winter green brunches are blooming from buds sitting beneath the brown thorns. These branches branching once or twice and their edges becomes more sharpened and hardened with the coming of summer. 
The Flowers are grow like spike blossoms in greenish-white color. The fruit is a small bally drupe with green to red color, and at ripening time it becomes brown. In the midst of summer its spongy fruits detach from the plant and roll with the wind. The plant itself drying and changes to gray color.
In my Meetings with Arab folk healers I was convinced that all of them without exceptions, Attested Spiny burnet roots and fruits, as a medicine for diabetics.
Anyone familiar with the Spiny burnet and its habitat, knows it's hard to uproot the deep roots of the plant and we need to use tools such as a shovel or a hoe. As we told upwards the time to gather the roots is between May to August.
For treating diabitis:
 Cook 100g roots in a liter of water for half an hour, strain and drink from the decoction 4 - 3 cups a day.
In the Jewish sources burnet is one of the thorns that express desolation and neglect, " And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and thistles in the fortresses thereof; and it shall be a habitation of wild-dogs, an enclosure for ostriches. " (Isaiah 34, 13). The plant was also mentioned as one of the plants used for natural fences and walls, "therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and I will make a wall against her, that she shall not find her paths" (Hosea 2, 8). 
our ancestors used Burnet as fuel for cooking and heating. Even nowadays, in traditional Arab villages, burnet is considered the main natural fuel. 
Dioscorides the great ancient Greek physician recommends a burnet leaves potion against dysentery and ear disease.
In the sixties of the twenty century the Department of Pharmacy of the Hebrew University, leading by Professor Zollman began to investigate the impact of burnet roots on the blood sugar level. They discovered an interesting phenomenon that the active ingredient is not present all year except from May till August.