AFTĪMŪN, a medicinal herb. Aftīmūn or dodder is a genus of parasitic plants (Cuscuta) of the family Cuscutaceae. Of about 120 species of dodder, widely distributed, 25 are found in Iran. The common Persian names for aftīmūn include the following: kāšūṯ (Ḵorramšahr), rešā-ye kešvar (Hamadān, Isfahan, Tehran), gešūz (Hamadān), kūkūl-e pol (“moist silk,” in the bazaar of Kāšān), dūlāšīk (Ormīa). The flowers and seeds of aftīmūn are exported from Iran to India mixed with the leaves and spines of the plants on which they grow. The seeds are light brown and have a bitter taste. An infusion of the flowers is given in some places for asthma; the stems are employed for catarrh and obesity. The drug aftīmūn (Gk.: epitimon) is probably derived from Cuscuta europaea, growing in the north, east, west (Ṭarārān of Tafreš) and Balūčestān. It is given as a digestive and purifier of the blood and for rheumatism. Mixed with golpar (Heracleum persicum) or Persian cowparsnip and gentian root, it is taken to stop excessive salivation. In Ābādān an infusion of the plant is given for sciatica and lumbago; it is also considered a carminative.


D. Hooper and H. Field, Useful Plants and Drugs of Iran and Iraq, 1937, p. 110.

A. Parsa, Flore de l’Iran IV, Tehran, 1952, pp. 125-31.

(A. Parsa)

Originally Published: December 15, 1984

Last Updated: July 28, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 6, p. 593

Cite this entry:

A. Parsa, “AFTĪMŪN,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/6, p. 593; an updated version is available online at (accessed on 14 March 2014).