Plantain - useful properties and uses
Unpaved rural roads are usually covered with a thick layer of gray dust. The legs get stuck in it, and a gray cloud stretches behind the traveler, settling on shoes and clothes.
Therefore, the locals usually trample a footpath parallel to the road. To the right and to the left, it is entwined with thickets of creeping knotweed and dense plantain bushes. Its flexible leaves tickle the feet of a pedestrian; if you walk barefoot, they rustle, but do not break off, because the white veins fanning out along the leaf are resistant to breaking.
Features of culture
Plantain is very common in Russia. It grows along roads and paths, near residential buildings and in meadows. And it got its name from the main place of growth. It is a herbaceous perennial plant of the Plantain family. In total, more than one and a half hundred of its species are known on the globe, and over ten grows in our country. But the most common plantain is large (Plantago major).
Like all plants in this family, it has a rosette of ten or more succulent petioled elliptical leaves. The plantain expels one or several strong flexible peduncle stems up to 30-40 cm in height, on which a long inflorescence resembling an ear is formed. Starting from May, and all summer long, many small brownish flowers open on these peduncles. They are pollinated by the wind, which carries their pollen around. In place of the flowers, elliptical capsules with very small seeds are formed.
The medicinal properties of plantain
Plantain has always been considered a valuable medicinal plant in folk medicine. Scientific medicine later joined this opinion. This is explained by the fact that its leaves contain many valuable substances: carotene, vitamins C and K, citric acid, phytoncides, bitter and tannins, and oleic acid, saponins, and carbohydrates are found in its seeds. And it is no coincidence that the villagers have long added young leaves to salads, omelets, and cooked cabbage soup from them.
Our ancestors long ago noticed that plantain leaves, crushed to juice, applied to the wound, stop bleeding, also such a patch on a wound or abscess relieves or reduces inflammation... It only needs to be replaced regularly, after two to three hours, with a fresh one.
In addition to hemostatic, plantain also has anti-inflammatory, bactericidal and wound healing properties... This is due to the high content of tannins and phytoncides in this plant, which provide a bactericidal effect. And the presence of polysaccharides in it helps quickly heal wounds and reduce inflammation.
Plantain is also used as diuretic, diaphoretic, analgesic, sedative.
Plantain leaf decoction has a great expectorant, and therefore it is used for the treatment of bronchitis, bronchial asthma, pulmonary tuberculosis.
To obtain it, 2 tablespoons of crushed raw materials are poured with one glass of boiling water. Then the liquid, covered with a lid, is kept on a steam bath for half an hour. Then the resulting broth is cooled, filtered and taken half a glass three times a day 15 minutes before meals.
Outwardly, this broth is used in the form of lotions, rinses to cleanse and heal wounds, cuts, skin ulcers, fistulas, abscesses and boils.
Fresh plantain leaf juice recommended for treatment of gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer, chronic gastritis. However, it should not be taken to treat these diseases for those people who have an acidic stomach.
Used for the same purposes and water infusion of fresh leaves... It is prepared from 1 tablespoon of chopped leaves, which are poured over with one glass of boiling water. Then the liquid is infused for 15 minutes. Take 1 tablespoon twenty minutes before meals. Infusion is also contraindicated in case of increased acidity of the stomach.
Plantain is used to get rid of calluses and cracked legs... To do this, you need to soar your feet in plantain leaf infusion - 2 tablespoons of chopped leaves are poured with 1 liter of boiling water, then the leaves are infused until the temperature becomes tolerable for the skin of the legs. The resulting infusion is poured into a basin and the legs soar in it for at least 20 minutes. Then, it is advisable to apply gruel from fresh leaves skipped in a meat grinder to the problem areas, and fix it on the leg with a bandage or other bandage and leave it overnight. After 3-4 procedures, calluses and cracks will disappear.
In traditional medicine, plantain leaves and preparations are also actively used. For example, infusion of its leaves used as expectorant for bronchial asthma, bronchitis, pulmonary tuberculosis, but plantain preparations use with gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer (but only with low and neutral acidity).
Preparations are produced - plantaglucid - in the form of granules, and also include dried leaves in medicinal collections.
When using fresh leaves and preparations from them, you need to remember that there are contraindications: as already mentioned above, they cannot be used in the treatment of gastritis and gastric ulcer with high acidity and with a predisposition to thrombus formation. In general, it will not be superfluous if you consult a doctor before using drugs according to folk recipes.
August and allergies
Allergy cannot appear from scratch, it must be preceded by a specific event. The most common reason is the massive flowering of plants, which act as full-fledged pathogens of various allergic reactions. The danger lies precisely in pollen, since it is so small and imperceptible, but quickly falling on the mucous membrane, provokes a violent allergic reaction. It is August that is dangerous because the list of plant allergens is huge, so it becomes more and more difficult to prevent contact.
Rock garden and its sculptures
A small rock garden in this garden is also not too variegated and not oversaturated with a large number of species. At the same time, in addition to the plant component, other inhabitants can also be observed here - garden sculptures. During the period of active appearance on sale of garden "gnomes", the taste also did not disappoint Alla Alekseevna, and she did not begin to fill her garden with variegation, culture alien to our lands.
All sculptures in this garden are made in restrained colors and imitate the natural local fauna, while these are not "cartoon" fairy figurines, but naturalistic statues of animals. There is a gray, fearful hare with very lively eyes, a shy turtle, and a brooding frog. Moreover, among this cute little world, the most real fauna also lives - nimble lizards, businesslike fat toads, hedgehogs, which the owners feed with porridge in the evenings, and many other all kinds of living creatures are warming themselves on the stones.
Alla Alekseevna, in addition, is a great lover of indoor flowers, and every summer she takes them out to her dacha, harmoniously fitting house plants into the garden design. For example, she places succulents in hanging baskets, geraniums in containers, and sometimes she plants pelargoniums directly on a flower bed, and places coleus among garden plants.
Indoor Echeveria becomes a summer garden decoration. © Lyudmila Svetlitskaya Indoor Coleus has created a harmonious duet with juniper. © Lyudmila Svetlitskaya
Weed Prevention Measures
It is much easier to deal with weeds when they are present in the summer cottage in small quantities. And for this it is necessary to take measures aimed at preventing their spread.
For example, in order to prevent the appearance of weeds on the lawn, experts advise adhering to just a few recommendations.
So, in order to avoid the rapid regrowth of the lawn grass, some cut the lawn very short. However, it is best to mow the lawn little by little, but regularly.
The formation of bald spots on the lawn should not be allowed, since they will immediately be occupied by weeds, and for this you should water regularly and in a timely manner.
feed the grass. By the way, the application of fertilizers will also contribute to the strengthening of the grass cover, which will be much more difficult to displace the weeds.
Raking the lawn will help prevent creeping and creeping weeds.
Whenever possible, it is best to remove any weeds immediately, without allowing them to take root and produce seeds.
Measures to prevent the spread of weeds in the garden are also quite simple.
It is necessary to determine on the site one place where you will carry the remnants of the removed, weeded weeds.
In the fall, when digging the earth, you should not be zealous with breaking earth clods. Thus, the roots of weeds will remain on the surface, which will freeze over the winter. In the spring, when digging up the site, you should remove as much as possible all the remnants of the roots of weeds.
Wild herb picking day
Thyme, mint, rosemary, oregano, basil - these are our usual herbs that we constantly use in cooking. But you can use not only these, but also wild herbs. They are no less fragrant and also very useful. To draw attention to the riches of nature, the day of the collection of wild herbs was established on August 21.
How was it used in Russia?
Our ancestors have always used not only the plants that were grown in the garden, but also wild herbs. They were treated for various diseases, added to food and drinks. With their help, they defended themselves from evil spirits, healed cattle.
Collecting herbs was an important matter, something sacred. It was believed that external factors influence the quality. It was necessary to collect the plants on a specific day, at a specific location of the moon. After that it was necessary to dry the herbs (there were also many nuances here).
In Russia, they even created reference books to preserve important information. During the reign of Peter the Great, whole pharmaceutical gardens were created. Healing herbs were grown there and sold in pharmacies.
And today, many herbs are used not only in cooking, but also for medicinal purposes.
Wild healing herbs
Here are the most famous plants.
Yarrow used in cooking. It is put in goulash, gravies, stews, fatty meat dishes, vegetable soups. The plant is in perfect harmony with the game. It is also used in folk medicine. It is useful for gastritis, heart disease, rheumatism, headache. In addition, this plant is used for spasms, diathesis, liver disease, anemia, tuberculosis.
Immortelle - the flowers are bright yellow, and the leaves and stems are pale green. This plant contains valuable elements (copper, chromium, sulfur, calcium, nickel, manganese), phthalides, essential oil, vitamins C and K, fatty acids, tannins, flavonoids. Yarrow is used for problems with the gallbladder, liver, pancreas. It has anti-inflammatory, choleretic, antispasmodic properties.
Dandelion - this plant is very useful. In medicine, roots, flowers, and leaves are also used. The composition includes vitamins, iron, manganese, sterols, resins, inulin, acids, triterpene compounds. Dandelion leaves are used in cooking (they make smoothies, salads), and jam is made from flowers. In addition, dandelion is used to treat hepatitis, gastritis, colitis, and cholelithiasis. It helps with constipation, flatulence, atherosclerosis, anemia, skin diseases.
Chamomile - the most famous medicinal plant. Chamomile tea soothes, relieves inflammation, strengthens the immune system, and fights bacteria. Chamomile contains choline, fatty acids, coumarins, phytosterones, flavonoids. The plant helps with increased acidity of the stomach, reduces swelling of the gastric mucosa, fights insomnia and depression, cramps, colds.
Blooming Sally - a plant with pink flowers. Ivan tea fights viruses and bacteria, normalizes blood pressure, helps with spleen diseases, colitis, gastritis. Has a calming, antibacterial effect. Tea from this plant gives strength and energy. Most often, decoctions, infusions and tea are made from the plant. You can add honey and lemon to enhance the taste.
Plantain - a universal healer. Contains vitamins A, C, K, citric acid, carbohydrates, tannins, phytoncides. Salads are prepared from it, added to scrambled eggs and cabbage soup. Plantain not only stops bleeding, but also has an expectorant effect, strengthens blood vessels, and relieves swelling.
St. John's wort - the people called this plant "a remedy for 99 diseases." It helps with pancreatitis, dizziness, eczema, burns, kidney and bladder diseases, hemorrhoids, gout, arthritis. St. John's wort contains flavonoids, essential oils, anthocyanins, tannins and resinous substances, carotene, ascorbic acid, saponins, hypericin.
Hyssop - a plant with small purple flowers. It contains phenols, vitamin C, ursolic acid, bioflavonoids, carvacrop, a natural antibiotic. The plant is added to salads from tomatoes and cucumbers, soups, and fried meat. Tea is made from hyssop and served with honey. This plant should be consumed in small quantities, as it has a bitter taste. Hyssop helps to cope with depression, increases stress resistance, improves memory. The plant is useful for bronchitis, sore throat, flu, tuberculosis, eliminates colic and atony, removes increased gas production.
The herbs can be harvested and dried on their own (it's important to do it right). Or just buy ready-made in a green pharmacy.
Remember that even healthy plants need to be eaten carefully so as not to harm your health. And before use, it is better to check the reaction of the body (use in small quantities). And if there is no allergy, you can safely add herbs to food or use for treatment, after consulting with a specialist.
How to harvest plantain
Plantain leaves are best cut with scissors or pruning shears - coarse and very strong veins are difficult to break with your hands. It is recommended to dry the raw material quickly, as it often turns black with slow drying. In hot weather, you can scatter the leaves under a canopy, and if this is not possible, use a dryer (temperature +40. +50 degrees).
Plantain leaves are best cut with scissors or pruning shears.
Leaves are harvested all summer - as needed. However, some sources recommend starting harvesting only after the plant has bloomed.
If seeds are needed, ripe spikelets are cut off along with peduncles and dried under a canopy (hung in bunches or laid out in a thin layer on paper, fabric). Then they are threshed by simply rubbing between the palms.
If you are interested in herbal medicine, you may also be interested in the article When and how to harvest medicinal plants correctly - it will remind you of the important nuances of harvesting medicinal raw materials (not only plantain, of course).