snakehead - dracocephalum l.
Family Librettes - Lamiaceae
Botanical characteristics. Perennial or annual herb up to 50 cm high.
Taproot thin with adventitious thin roots. Stem erect, tetrahedral, branched. The leaves are opposite oblong-ovate or oblong-lanceolate. The flowers are large light blue or pale purple, collected in racemes. Blossoms in July, fruits in August.
There are several species. The most common and healing are:
- Ruysch snakehead - D. ruyschiana L. A perennial plant 10-40 cm high. It grows on meadows, glades, river banks, steppe stony slopes, rocks, to the middle mountain belt. The flowers are pale purple, usually in the inflorescence of 13 flowers. Leaves oblong-lanceolate.
- Moldovan snakehead - D. moldavica L. Annual herb 10-50 cm tall. Grows on steppe slopes, near dwellings, in vegetable gardens, parks. The flowers are light blue, larger compared to the previous species, in the inflorescence of 3-5 or more. The leaves are oblong-ovate, the upper ones are more oblong, smaller than the rest.
Both species have healing properties, are similar in chemical composition, and can be used similarly for therapeutic purposes.
Used plant parts. Medicinal raw materials are the aerial part of the plant, less often roots and seeds. Raw materials are collected during flowering and dried in the usual way in the open air in the shade or dryers at 30 ° C.
Chemical composition. All parts of the plant contain essential oil, in its composition: cit-ral (most of all in the aerial part), tannins, vitamins, coumarins, flavonoids. Seeds contain fatty oil, in its composition of acid: palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, linolenic. Roots contain trace elements.
Application. In folk medicine, the serpentine has long been used as an astringent, antispasmodic, in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, headache, respiratory infections, as a general strengthening, potentiating potency; outwardly in the form of compresses - with rheumatism.
In addition, the serpentine Moldavian is used as a sedative, with fainting, female diseases; in Transbaikalia - with jade, gastroenteritis; in the form of rinsing - with stomatitis.
Broth above-ground parts of the plant in clinical trials with pyelonephritis in children gave positive results, recommended for treatment. Tincture in the experiment increases the tone and increases the amplitude of intestinal contractions, dilates the mesentery vessels and increases the speed of blood flow. The extract exhibits antibacterial activity. Essential oil has a pro-cytocidal effect. The nectar of the flowers of the serpentine Ruysch is active against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Seeds have astringent and sedative properties.
In Tibetan medicine, the serpentine is used for stomach ulcers and esophageal diseases; in Mongolian medicine - in diseases of the liver and gastrointestinal tract, diarrhea, as hemostatic, wound healing; flowers - with scurvy and its complications, arthritis, ascites, as antipyretic; in collections - as a sedative and with stomach cramps; outwardly - with purulent, nonhealing long wounds, fungal skin lesions, scabies.
Essential oil is suitable for use in perfumes and cosmetics. The serpentine is a source for citral. Cultivated in the central regions of the European part of Russia. Young leaves and seeds are used as a seasoning for dishes, for preservation.
- For broth, take 20 g of the aerial part of the plant or seeds, pour 200 ml of boiling water, leave for 30 minutes in a boiling water bath, cool for 10 minutes, filter. Take 1/3 cup 3 times daily before meals.
- For an infusion, 15 g of flowers or leaves are poured over 200 ml of boiling water, collected in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes, cooled for 45 minutes, filtered. Take should be 1/3 cup 2-3 times a day before meals.
- The tincture of the roots can be prepared on 70% alcohol at the rate of 1:10, insist 12-15 days in a dark place, filter. Take 30-40 drops per reception 3-4 times a day before meals. Gradually, the dose can be increased to 50-60 drops per reception.