Spanish needle is a native plant to the Americas and have been used in traditional medicine for infections from wounds, upper respiratory infections like colds and flu, urinary tract infections as well as venereal diseases. The leaves, seeds and roots of Spanish needles have also been reported to possess antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-malarial, and diuretic. The leaves can be boiled and eaten like spinach, which is said to be good for the bowels. They are often added to soup dishes such as callaloo. For colic or worms they prepare a mixed infusion of leaves and root. The herb is also beneficial in treating joint discomfort, swellings, colic, stomach ailments, sore gums, teething babies, earaches, and pink eye.