Ononis spinosa, “Restharrow” in English and “Bugrane épineuse” in French, belongs to the Fabaceae botanical family. It is indigenous to Europe, western Asia and North Africa.
It is a small bush, generally spiky, growing on calcareous sols in prairies, ditches and dikes. It was used as food for donkeys.
Restharrow root is used medicinally as a mild diuretic and, in folk medicine, for gout and rheumatic complaints.
The main components of its essential oil (0.02 to 0.1%) are trans-anethole, carvone and menthol; isoflavones, especially ononin and its 6”-malonate, and also biochanin and formononetin; sterols, particularly sitosterol.