Great bracken – common bracken

There is an ancient pagan belief that medicinal plants should be collected on the night of Ivan Kupala. Legend also says that it is on this night that you can see an exceptionally beautiful fern flower. But this is nothing more than a legend. The fact is that ferns are not flowering plants, but spore plants. They do not reproduce by seeds, but by spores, so there are no flowers in ferns, including those of an eagle. However, this plant rarely reproduces by spores, most often by processes of rhizomes.

Orlyak is a perennial, with a long, creeping black-brown rhizome, rough, light green, two- or three-lobed leaves, up to 120 cm tall. It sporulates in July-August. The plant is very old, there are its prints on rocks and minerals, in particular on coal.

The distribution of the eagle is extremely wide: it occurs in clearings, fires, as well as in deciduous and coniferous forests of Eurasia, on the islands of the Atlantic Ocean, and even in Polynesia.

The young shoots of the plant and its rhizomes contain organic acids, biologically active substances, starch (up to 46%), tannic compounds, phytoncides, micro- and macroelements.

Orlyak has been used in folk medicine since time immemorial. Decoction of rhizomes was used as a laxative, anthelmintic (especially when infected with tapeworms), antipyretic and diuretic. They drank it for colds, stomach aches and headaches, rheumatism. Various skin diseases were treated with poultices and compresses with a decoction of rhizomes.

In many countries, goldenrod is widely used as food, and not only rhizomes, but also young shoots of the plant (up to 20-35 cm long). The rhizomes are dried, ground into powder, which is added to ordinary wheat flour (up to 25%). Bread is baked from this mixture, however, according to some reviews, it is bitter. It is known that the inhabitants of the Canary Islands used to prepare completely edible pastries from pure flour obtained from the rhizomes of the eagle. In China, Korea, and Japan, rhizomes serve as a source of starch, and in Russia, roasted rhizomes were eaten during famine years.

Young fern shoots are cut in the spring and after 4 hours (not later!) they are salted in polyethylene bags, which are placed in tubs. 40 kg of non-iodized coarse salt is taken for 100 kg of shoots. Sprinkle the fern with salt, and put the wick on top, like cabbage. After 10-14 days, the brine is drained and the procedure is repeated, but instead of 40, but 25 kg of salt is added. After 10 days, the brine is drained again and a new portion of salt (20 kg) is poured. After another 10 days, the product is ready for use. Salted eagle is used for salads, fried in chopped form with an egg, it is a good seasoning for meat and fish dishes. A wonderful plant!

Thanks to its phytoncide and insecticidal properties, the fern is used to combat insects that cannot tolerate the smell of its leaves. It is recommended to stuff mattresses with oleander leaves, it is very convenient – insects do not bother, and sleeping on fern leaves relieves sciatica.

To preserve the gifts of the forest, it is not by chance that the mushroom pickers cover the baskets with holly leaves – their contents stay fresh for a long time. The leaves show antiseptic properties and can serve as packaging material for vegetables and fruits.

This is such a miracle plant that grows in our forests. Try and rate.

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