White step

Herbaceous perennial with characteristic turnip thickened or oblong, up to 3 kg, main fleshy, yellow (yellowish) root and lateral roots. Stem up to 4 m long, climbing with the help of long, unbranched, curly tendrils, faceted, leafy, glabrous at the base, covered above with short stiff hairs. The leaves are alternate, relatively large, 5.5-17 cm long, longer than their width, palmately lobed with almost triangular large-toothed lobes, and the middle lobe is longer, at the base with a deep semicircular notch, rough-hairy from short, light hard hairs, on petioles which are shorter than leaf blades. The lower inflorescences are staminate, racemes on long peduncles, bearing no more than 10 flowers, the upper ones are pistillate, on short peduncles, in corymbs. Flowers small, yellowish green, campanulate-five-lobed. The fruit is a black, globular berry with green flesh. Blooms in June-July.

It grows in shrubs, on rocky slopes and among rocky placers. It is bred in gardens, parks, runs wild. It grows in the western and southern regions of the Caucasus.

Another type of stepping stone – dioecious stepping stone, found in the Caucasus and Central Asia – differs from the first in that this plant is dioecious, the calyx of female flowers is half the length of the corolla, the stigma is pubescent, the fruits are red.

For therapeutic purposes, the roots of both types of footsteps are used, which are dug up before the flowering of the plant, cleaned of the earth, washed with water and cut lengthwise into pieces before drying. Dry in attics, in dryers. Fresh roots are also used.

The plant is poisonous – strict dosage!

The roots of both species contain the glycosides brionin and bryonidine, as well as a resinous substance and an essential oil. Brionin has an irritating effect. There are known cases of animal poisoning by this plant in the pasture.

The step has a number of medicinal properties. It is a hemostatic, antirheumatic and analgesic. It is used as a tincture as an analgesic for gouty and rheumatic arthritis, intercostal neuralgia. Widely used in homeopathy.

In folk medicine, an aqueous decoction of the root is drunk for epilepsy, pleurisy, all kinds of bleeding, malaria and constipation (as a laxative – use in large doses), with a sore throat.

Outwardly – with a sore throat, drink 1 teaspoon and gargle; rinse sick teeth; steamed root is applied to boils, abscesses; used for inflammation of the inner ear; a decoction of herbs is applied to a sore throat. Fresh crushed root is used for neuralgia, joint tumors and as an analgesic, also in the presence of scab on the scalp (ointment from the root). When rubbing the skin with a fresh root, bubbles are found.


Decoction: 20 g per 200 ml; 1 teaspoon 3 times every day. Tincture: 25%; 10 drops 3 times every day. Ointment: 1 part root juice to 4 parts cream

(unsalted) butter or petroleum jelly. Or: 1 teaspoon of the footstep is mixed with 100 g of sunflower oil – rubbed with articular rheumatism (carefully so as not to smear large areas of the body).

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