Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Ononis spinosa

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ononis spinosa L.


It owes its name,  "Rest - harrow,"  to its tough underground roots, which cause stoppages to harrow and plough.     In some parts it is called  "Cammock,"  and the country people, having the idea that it communicates its nauseous, goat-like odor to cheese made from the milk of cows who have eaten it, call the cheese so tainted  "cammocky".
Il suo  nome che deriva dal greco onos, asino, e oninèmi, essere utile.


Traditional name

Spiny rest harrow
 Strandkrageklo          Cammock      Dornige Hauhechel
 Busktörne          Tornbeinurt          Piikkiorakko
 Ononis épineux          Wilzyna ciernista          Kattedoorn          

Ononis campestris (Koch.&Ziz.)

Used parts

Mother tincture of the whole fresh plant; and dilutions


Spermatophyta, Angiospermae - Flowering Plants; Dicotyledonae; Rosiflorae / Rosidae; Fabales; Leguminosae / Fabaceae / Papilionaceae - Legume Family / Pea Family


Original proving

Description of the substance

Physical Characteristics

Perennial growing to 0.6m. It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from May to August. The scented flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. It can fix Nitrogen. We rate it 2 out of 5 for usefulness.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soil. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Habitats and Possible Locations


Cultivation details

Prefers a sunny position in a well-drained neutral to alkaline soil[200]. Succeeds in poor soils, the plant often becoming spiny in such a situation[17].

Similar to O. repens but this species is not rhizomatous[200]. Mature roots are very tough and the plant gained its common name of 'Rest Harrow' because ploughs and harrows would be unable to break through it (in the days before heavy machinery was used on the land!).

The whole plant is pleasantly scented when bruised[245].

This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200].


Scarify or pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and sow the seed in the middle of spring in situ[200].

The seed can also be sown in a cold frame in the autumn. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in late spring[200].

Division just before new growth begins in spring[200]. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Cuttings, September in a cold frame[111].