||Cow parsnip, often grows in moist meadows, and along the borders of fields, and near ditches. Traditionally the young leaf stalks and stems were eaten like stewed celery. The leaves may be dried, burned and the ashes used as a salt substitute. Native Americans of the northern US ate the peeled stalks raw or cooked. The blossoms were steeped in oil and rubbed on the body to keep off flies and mosquitoes.
||Furocoumarins (psoralens) including bergapten, isobergapten, sphondin, isopimpinellin and pimpinellin.
||Unfortunately, the umbilliferae contain furano-coumarins which, when exposed to sunlight, cause significant photo-toxic reactions (photosensitivity). One of the more common skin reactions to Cow parsnip/hogweed, is the ‘weed eaters’ or ‘strimmers’ dermatitis. When string trimmers are used to clear long grass, components of weeds are usually mulched and scattered in all directions, often coating the legs and arms of the operator. The sap of the plants then gets on the skin, and, when exposed to sunlight, gives rise to a very characteristic rash (see photo) which may persist for many months.