Name: Field axes – zhivokost field
Field axes (Consolida regalis, synonyms: C. arvensis, C. segetum, Delphinium consolida); hare’s ears, cuckoo’s shoes, horned cornflowers, blueberry; the Zhovtets family (Ranunculaceae); vivacity of the field
Axes are an extremely beautiful plant, its horned purple flowers immediately attract attention with their unusualness.
It is a herbaceous annual 30-70 cm tall. The leaves are openwork, repeatedly pinnately dissected, alternate. The stem is erect, sprawling and branched, covered with short, pressed hairs. The flowers are irregular, bright purple, rarely pink or even less often white (albino), collected in sparse tassels. They bloom in July-September. The fruit is a leaf. In Ukraine, they are widespread in crops and fields, along field roads, in forest strips.
Field axes are used only in folk medicine. The aerial part of the plant and seeds are used to prepare medicines. The grass and flowers are collected during flowering and dried under shelter in the open air, and the seeds are harvested in a state of so-called waxy ripeness. To obtain full-fledged medicinal raw materials, plants are tied into bundles, hung to dry in a warm, ventilated room, and then threshed and aired. The finished raw materials are stored in dry, dark rooms.
The grass and flowers of the plant contain alkaloids, flavonoids, glycoside delphinine, aconitic acid, higher alcohol mannitol and pigments. The seed is rich in a fatty oil of 28%, it also contains curare and similar alkaloids. The name of these substances comes from the poison curare (obtained by thickening strychnos extract), with which South American Indians lubricated the tips of arrows before hunting and fighting. The poison exhibits a muscle-paralytic effect, relaxes the muscles (the so-called muscle relaxant). Incorrect dosage of products from seeds causes paralysis of the respiratory center and heart failure, so any use must be coordinated with a qualified phytotherapist. At home, it is better not to take risks,
It should be remembered that the plant is very poisonous, so any use of products from it must be agreed with a doctor – phytotherapist.
Most often, grass and plant flowers are used. Infusions are prescribed as an anti-inflammatory, expectorant and diuretic. In Western Europe, hatchets are included in diuretic and laxative collections.
In traditional medicine, they are used much more widely: field ax grass is prescribed for headache, cystitis, dysmenorrhea, hypertension, pleurisy, conjunctivitis, skin diseases, and as a hemostatic agent.
According to Ukrainian authors, toxic properties are found in all parts of the plant, especially poisonous seeds. The largest amount of poisonous substances (curarins) is contained in the stems before the beginning of flowering, in the leaves – before the beginning of fruiting. Curarine has a central myorelaxant effect — it suppresses the structures of the central nervous system, which are responsible for the tone of the striated muscles, paralyzes the vascular and respiratory centers, which leads to slowing down of heart activity, a drop in blood pressure, and respiratory arrest. In Ukraine, field axes are used only in folk medicine.
Herbal infusion. 20 g of raw material per 1 liter of boiling water, infuse for 1 hour, filter. Take half a glass three times a day before meals.
Infusion of flowers (external). 10 g of raw material per 0.5 l of boiling water, infuse for 15 minutes, filter. For lotions with purulent inflammation of the eyes.