Afteemoon, Aftimoun, Aftimun, Atermoyer, Beggarweed, Chinese Dodder, Cuscuta, Cuscuta campestris, Cuscuta chinensis, Cuscuta epithymum, Cuscuta japonica, Cuscuta planiflora, Cuscutae, Cuscute, Cuscute Chinoise, Cuscute à Petites Fleurs, Cuscute du Thym, Devil's Guts, Dodder of Thyme, Field Dodder, Hellweed, Japanese Dedder, Lesser Dodder, Petite Cuscute, Scaldweed, Semen Cuscutae, Strangle Tare, Tu Si Zi, Tu Sizi.


Overview Information

Dodder is an herb. People use the parts that grow above the ground to make medicine.

Dodder is used to treat urinary tract, spleen, psychiatric, and hepatic disorders. It is also used for cancer, depression, and pain. Dodder is used with a protein called whey for eczema (atopic dermatitis).

How does it work?

Dodder contains chemicals that act like antioxidants. These chemicals might help to slow the growth of cancer cells, and improve the health of the liver, the kidneys, and the nervous system.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Eczema (atopic dermatitis). Early research shows that taking a combination of whey powder and dodder seed extract helps to reduce itching in people with eczema.
  • Depression. Early research shows that taking dodder helps to improve depression in people who are also taking antidepressantmedication.
  • Bladder problems.
  • Liver problems.
  • Pain.
  • Spleen problems.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of dodder for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Dodder seed extract is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in doses of up to 2 grams daily for up to 15 days. Dodder powder is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in doses of up to 2 grams daily for up to 8 weeks. There isn't enough reliable information to know if higher doses of dodder are safe. It might cause side effects such as stomach upset and diarrhea.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if dodder is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.



We currently have no information for DODDER Interactions.



The appropriate dose of dodder depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for dodder. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


  • Bao, X., Wang, Z., Fang, J., and Li, X. Structural features of an immunostimulating and antioxidant acidic polysaccharide from the seeds of Cuscuta chinensis. Planta Med. 2002;68(3):237-243. View abstract.
  • Dinu M, Ionescu D and Codreanu M. The research on the activity of extracts from Cuscuta Campestris Yunk on cell cultures from kidney of African green monkey. Farmacia. 2002;50:66-76.
  • Du, X. M., Kohinata, K., Kawasaki, T., Guo, Y. T., and Miyahara, K. Components of the ether-insoluble resin glycoside-like fraction from Cuscuta chinensis. Phytochemistry 1998;48(5):843-850. View abstract.
  • Jian-Hui, L., Bo, J., Yong-Ming, B., and Li-Jia, A. Effect of Cuscuta chinensis glycoside on the neuronal differentiation of rat pheochromocytoma PC12 cells. Int.J.Dev.Neurosci. 2003;21(5):277-281. View abstract.
  • Liang Y et al. Effects of traditional Chinese medicine and rehabilitation training on knee joint function after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction in arthroscopy. Chinese Journal of Clinical Rehabilitatin. 2006;10(27):6-10.
  • Nisa, M., Akbar, S., Tariq, M., and Hussain, Z. Effect of Cuscuta chinensis water extract on 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced skin papillomas and carcinomas in mice. J.Ethnopharmacol. 1986;18(1):21-31. View abstract.
  • Pan, H. J., Sun, H. X., and Pan, Y. J. Adjuvant effect of ethanol extract of Semen Cuscutae on the immune responses to ovalbumin in mice. J.Ethnopharmacol. 5-13-2005;99(1):99-103. View abstract.
  • Uddin, S. J., Shilpi, J. A., Middleton, M., Byres, M., Shoeb, M., Nahar, L., and Sarker, S. D. Swarnalin and cis-swarnalin, two new tetrahydrofuran derivatives with free radical scavenging activity, from the aerial parts of Cuscuta reflexa. Nat.Prod.Res. 2007;21(7):663-668. View abstract.
  • Umehara, K., Nemoto, K., Ohkubo, T., Miyase, T., Degawa, M., and Noguchi, H. Isolation of a new 15-membered macrocyclic glycolipid lactone, Cuscutic Resinoside a from the seeds of Cuscuta chinensis: a stimulator of breast cancer cell proliferation. Planta Med. 2004;70(4):299-304. View abstract.
  • Wang, J., Wang, M., Ou, Y., and Wu, Q. [Effects of flavonoids from semen Cuscutae on changes of beta-EP in hypothalamuses and FSH and LH in anterior pituitaries in female rats exposed to psychologic stress]. Zhong.Yao Cai. 2002;25(12):886-888. View abstract.
  • Ye, M., Li, Y., Yan, Y., Liu, H., and Ji, X. Determination of flavonoids in Semen Cuscutae by RP-HPLC. J.Pharm.Biomed.Anal. 5-15-2002;28(3-4):621-628. View abstract.
  • Ye, M., Yan, Y. N., Qiao, L., and Ni, X. M. [Studies on chemical constituents of Cuscuta chinensis]. Zhongguo Zhong.Yao Za Zhi. 2002;27(2):115-117. View abstract.
  • Ye, M., Yan, Y., and Guo, D. A. Characterization of phenolic compounds in the Chinese herbal drug Tu-Si-Zi by liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Rapid Commun.Mass Spectrom. 2005;19(11):1469-1484. View abstract.
  • Yen, F. L., Wu, T. H., Lin, L. T., and Lin, C. C. Hepatoprotective and antioxidant effects of Cuscuta chinensis against acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. J.Ethnopharmacol. 4-20-2007;111(1):123-128. View abstract.
  • Yen, F. L., Wu, T. H., Lin, L. T., Cham, T. M., and Lin, C. C. Nanoparticles formulation of Cuscuta chinensis prevents acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. Food Chem.Toxicol. 2008;46(5):1771-1777. View abstract.
  • Zhen, G. H., Jiang, B., Bao, Y. M., Li, D. X., and An, L. J. [The protect effect of flavonoids from Cuscuta chinensis in PC12 cells from damage induced by H2O2]. Zhong.Yao Cai. 2006;29(10):1051-1055. View abstract.
  • Firoozabadi A, Zarshenas MM, Salehi A, Jahanbin S, Mohagheghzadeh A. Effectiveness of Cuscuta planiflora Ten. and Nepeta menthoides Boiss. & Buhse in major depression: a triple-blind randomized controlled trial study. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2015;20(2):94-7. View abstract.
  • Liang, R. N., Liu, J., and Lu, J. [Treatment of refractory polycystic ovary syndrome by bushen huoxue method combined with ultrasound-guided follicle aspiration]. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi 2008;28(4):314-317. View abstract.
  • Mehrbani M, Choopani R, Fekri A, Mehrabani M, Mosaddegh M, Mehrabani M. The efficacy of whey associated with dodder seed extract on moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis in adults: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Ethnopharmacol. 2015;172:325-32. View abstract.
  • Reid D. A handbook of Chinese healing herbs. Boston, MA:Shambhala, 1995.
  • Shin S, Lee YJ, Kim EJ, Lee AS, Kang DG, Lee HS. Effect of Cuscuta chinensis on renal function in ischemia/reperfusion-induced acute renal failure rats. Am J Chin Med. 2011;39(5):889-902. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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