What is Dodder Seed?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 25 September 2019
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Dodder seed is a parasitic plant which has been used for centuries in Asia as an anti-aging remedy. The benefits of dodder seed have been well-established, especially when it is combined with other supplements and herbs. Dodder has no leaves and typically comes in the form of a vine that gains nourishment from other plants and trees. It is found primarily in China and Japan and is also called Cuscuta chinensis.

The use of dodder seed as a supplement or tonic dates back to ancient times when it was combined with various other seeds and plant byproducts as a health serum. Today, it remains a popular remedy for skin aging and may be combined with vitamins or other ingredients as an energy enhancer. Other uses for dodder seed include its actions as a reproductive health promoter and cleanser, which aids in proper urinary function.

There are some studies which indicate that dodder seeds may be useful in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Other studies are still being conducted. Some research also indicates that the seeds may be used to prevent vision problems in those prone to cataracts.

Benefits of using dodder seed may include increased energy and sometimes greater sexual performance. It has long been used to prevent premature ejaculation and to promote a healthy sperm count and motility. These uses have not all been scientifically proven, although there appears to be no harm in adding it to most fertility treatment regimens.


Dodder seed can be purchased in supplement form, generally as a decoction made from the seeds and water. Those who want to use it as a health aid should follow recommended dosage instructions and speak with a health care provider about any symptoms being experienced before using dodder seed extracts. Supplements are made from the plant’s extract or the whole plant and should contain no additional fillers or binders. Other herbs can be added to boost the health effects. Dodder can be found online or in some health food stores.

As with any supplement, dodder seed should only be used under the supervision of a health care professional. When used as directed, there are no known side effects when the supplement is taken with other herbs, but testing for adverse reactions between the herb and medications has not yet been well-established. For this reason, if any drugs are being taken to treat the symptoms dodder is known to alleviate, a doctor or herbalist should be contacted for instructions.


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Post 2

@wavy58 - I live in California, and I found this vine covering my chrysanthemums. I recognized it by the presence of twining tendrils and tiny scales instead of leaves.

Post 1

My aunt in California recently noticed some type of vine covering her orange trees. She took a piece of the vine to her local extension service, and they determined that it is the Japanese dodder plant. It so happens that this plant prefers citrus over other types of trees.

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