snakehead - dracocephalum l.
Gubovetet Family - Lamiaceae
Botanical characteristic. Perennial or annual herbaceous plant up to 50 cm high.
Thin root root with subordinate thin roots. The stem is erect, tetrahedral, branched. The leaves are opposite oblong-ovate or oblong-lanceolate. The flowers are large, light blue or pale purple, collected in a racemose inflorescence. It blooms in July, bears fruit in August.
Several species grow. The most common and healing are:
- Ruysch's snakehead - D. ruyschiana L. Perennial plant 10-40 cm high. Grows on meadows, glades, river banks, rocky steppe slopes, rocks, to the mid-mountain zone. The flowers are pale purple, usually in an inflorescence of 13 flowers. Leaves oblong-lanceolate.
- Moldovan Serpent Head - D. moldavica L. An annual herbaceous plant 10-50 cm high. It grows on the steppe slopes, near housing, in vegetable gardens, and parks. The flowers are light blue, larger in comparison with the previous species, in the inflorescence 3-5 and more. Leaves are oblong-ovate, upper ones are more oblong, smaller than the others.
Both species have healing properties, are close in chemical composition, and can be used similarly for therapeutic purposes.
Used parts of the plant. Medicinal raw materials are the aerial part of the plant, less often the roots and seeds. The raw materials are collected during flowering and dried in the usual way in the open air in the shade or dryers at a temperature of 30 ° C.
Chemical composition. All parts of the plant contain essential oil, in its composition: citral (most of all in the aerial parts), tannins, vitamins, coumarins, flavonoids. Seeds contain fatty oil, in its composition of acid: palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, linolenic. The roots contain trace elements.
Application. In folk medicine, the snakehead has long been used as an astringent, antispasmodic, for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, headache, respiratory infections, as a restorative, enhancing potency; externally in the form of compresses - with rheumatism.
In addition, the Moldovan snakehead is used as a sedative, with fainting, female diseases; in Transbaikalia - with jade, gastroenteritis; in the form of a rinse - with stomatitis.
A decoction of the aerial parts of the plant during clinical trials with pyelonephritis in children gave positive results, it is recommended for treatment. The tincture in the experiment increases the tone and increases the amplitude of intestinal contractions, dilates the vessels of the mesentery and increases the speed of blood flow. The extract exhibits antibacterial activity. Essential oil has a protistocidal effect. The nectar of flowers of the Ruysch snakehead is active against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Seeds have astringent and sedative properties.
In Tibetan medicine, the snakehead is used for stomach ulcers and diseases of the esophagus; in Mongolian medicine - with diseases of the liver and gastrointestinal tract, diarrhea, as hemostatic, wound healing; flowers - with scurvy and its complications, arthritis, ascites, as an antipyretic; in collections - as a sedative and with gastric colic; externally - with purulent, long non-healing wounds, fungal skin lesions, scabies.
Essential oil is suitable for use in perfumes and cosmetics. The snakehead is the source for citral. It is 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 the broth, take 20 g of the aerial part of the plant or seeds, pour 200 ml of boiling water, insist on a boiling water bath for 30 minutes, cool for 10 minutes, filter. Take 1/3 cup 3 times a day before meals
- For infusion, 15 g of flowers or leaves are filled with 200 ml of boiling water, plated in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes, cooled for 45 minutes, filtered. It should be taken 1/3 cup 2-3 times a day before meals.
- Tincture from the roots can be prepared with 70% alcohol at a 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.