Chersak family (Dipsacaceae); field warbler
In late autumn, in October, after night frosts, you can often see this plant on lawns and forest edges. It’s amazing: it would seem that the frost killed all living things, but this plant is still blooming! Sverbizhnytsia is the last greeting of last summer. Hardly any plant can compete with it in terms of frost resistance, probably only meadowsweet, which, by the way, belongs to the same family.
St. John’s wort is a perennial herbaceous plant 30-100 cm tall, densely covered with rough hairs. Its stem is upright, usually branched in the upper part. Leaves, depending on their location, are entire and almost entire to pinnately pinnate. The flowers are bluish-lilac, dirty pink or dirty yellow. The corolla is greatly enlarged in the outermost flowers of the capitate inflorescence. The plant blooms from the beginning of summer until late autumn – on meadows, forest edges, shrubs, fallows, hillsides and steam fields. The fruit is an achene. In addition to the extreme northern regions and the Arctic, itch is widespread in the European part of Russia, it is found in Western Siberia and the Far East (introduced plant). It also grows in Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine (all over the territory, except for the seaside areas of the Kherson region and northern Crimea).
Folk healers use the aerial part of the plant. For the preparation of medicinal products, it is collected during flowering during summer and early autumn. Dry under shelter in the open air.
St. John’s wort contains saponins, bitter and tannic substances, sugars, carotene (provitamin A) (up to 140 mg%).
The infusion of the herb of the plant promotes the removal of toxic metabolic products from the body, and not only those that are formed as a result of metabolic processes, but also those that occur during pathological changes in various organs. Expectorant, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of this product are known. It is prescribed internally for cough, bronchitis, inflammation of the urinary bladder, chronic allergic dermatitis, anal fissures, and as an antipruritic agent. Useful infusion of pruritus for various skin diseases – in these cases, it is used externally. Grass powder has insecticidal properties, it is used to kill fleas.
It is interesting that there are different interpretations of the origin of the Russian name of the itch — korostavnik. There is a version according to which the plant grows on the “traces” left by cows. The most likely claim is that “scabies” comes from the word “scabies” – crusts in various skin diseases (in the Ukrainian language, the word “scabies” also means a disease caused by skin mites and which, by the way, is treated for with the help of a strong infusion of the herb of the plant). People’s experience of treatment shows exactly this.
It is not only people who are attracted to the eyes of the itch flowers in the fall. Honey bees rush to them for the last pollen and nectar. The honey productivity of the plant reaches 150 kg from 1 hectare.
Herbal infusion. 4 teaspoons of raw materials per 400 ml of boiling water. Heat in a boiling water bath for 15-20 minutes, filter, wring out, bring to the original volume with warm boiled water. Take 1/2 cup 4 times a day.