Derain spravzhnіy – common dogwood

Name: Derain spravzhnіy – common dogwood

Cornus mas (Cornus mas); dogwood, devil’s berry; Derenovy family (Sogpaseae); common dogwood


In the south of Russia and beyond, as well as in the Crimea, the “first swallow” of spring is the flowering of grass. It blooms even before the leaves bloom. In autumn, the bushes of the plant turn crimson, bending under the weight of the fruits.

Real sod is a bush or a low tree up to 8 m tall (in the Caucasus there are trees up to 9 m tall with a trunk diameter of up to 45 cm). The leaves of the turf are simple, 3-8 cm long, with clearly visible pinnate veining. Small yellow flowers are collected in umbrella-shaped inflorescences, bloom in March-April. The fruit is a juicy drupe with a red, pink or yellow pericarp, ripens in August-September. In Russia, sod is widespread in the southwest and in the foothills of the Caucasus, up to a height of 1200 m above sea level. It grows in the undergrowth of oak and hornbeam forests, sometimes forming pure thickets. In Ukraine, it grows in forests and among bushes in the Crimea, in the Carpathians, in the western part of the Carpathians, in other regions it is rare.

Leaves, fruits and bark are used medicinally. The plant is used only in folk medicine.

Sod fruits contain up to 14% sugars (glucose and fructose), tannins (up to 10%), organic acids (malic, citric, succinic) (up to 3.5%), flavonoids and anthocyanins. In addition, their composition includes ascorbic acid (vitamin C), essential oil and pectin substances. The bark contains bitterness and root glycoside. The leaves are rich in tannins (up to 15%).

Back in the time of Hippocrates, the healing properties of turf were known. The leaves were used as a decoction for stomach ailments. Bark and root decoctions were used for malaria, externally they were prescribed for furunculosis. Fruits are still widely used in traditional medicine as an astringent (for disorders of the gastrointestinal tract), antiscurvy, tonic, antipyretic, and as an appetite stimulant. Consumption of fresh sod fruits is useful for patients with diabetes and people prone to it (juice from the fruits lowers the blood sugar level while increasing the enzymatic secretion of the pancreas).

In the Caucasus, the local population prepares a national product from the fruits of the plant – sod pita bread. To do this, the berries are freed from the stones and cooked until a homogeneous mass is obtained. Then it is spread out in a thin layer on boards and dried in the open air. The concentrate contains up to 40% sugar and is rich in vitamins. In addition to valuable taste qualities, it has anti-scurvy properties.

The fruits of the sod are dried, pickled, jam and jam, pastille and juice are prepared from them.

Bees visit the flowering turf with pleasure – not so much to collect nectar (there is not much of it in the flowers), but to collect perga – the winter reserves have already been eaten, and the pollen of the turf is a help, spring protein food.

Fruit infusion. 5-10 g of dry fruits per 200 ml of boiling water. It is brewed and drunk as tea. With diarrhea and stomach bleeding.

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