The genus Pedicularis contains several species referred to as louseworts. The common name was derived from the idea that livestock would get lice from eating the plant.
Pedicularis plants are found mainly in temperate northern hemisphere climates, although some are also found in South America.
Although animal studies have indicated that certain chemicals found in the plants may have antiproliferative or antioxidant activity, there is insufficient evidence in humans to support the use of Pedicularis species for any indication.
Iridoid glycosides, isoverbascoside, lamalbid, martynoside, mussaenoside, Pedicularis artselaeri, Pedicularis axillaris Franch., Pedicularis cephalantha Franch., Pedicularis decora, Pedicularis dichotoma Bonati, Pedicula dicora Franch., Pedicularis gracilis Wall., Pedicularis kansuensis, Pedicularis lasiophrys, Pedicularis likiangensis Franch., Pedicularis longiflora, Pedicularis longiflora Rudolph., Pedicularis longiflora var. tubiformis1, Pedicularis longipes Maxim., Pedicularis muscicola Maxim, Pedicularis nordmanniana, Pedicularis olgae Regel., Pedicularis oxycarpa Franch., Pedicularis rex C.B. Clarke, Pedicularis rhinanthoides Schrenk, Pedicularis siphonantha Don, Pedicularis spicata, Pedicularis striata, Pedicularis striata Pall., Pedicularis tapaoensis Tsoong, Pedicularis tenuisecta Franch., Pedicularis yui Li, phenylpropanoid, Scrophulariaceae (family), shanzhiside methyl ester, verbascoside, wood bettony.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.