Field stalk – polyovy ovchug (harvesting and storage)

Name: Field stalk – polyovy ovchug (harvesting and storage)

Field stalk -Ononis arvensis L. Ukrainian name – polyovy vovchug, popular names – vovtsyug; bull grass, boyar potion, etc.


The legume family is Fabaceae (Leguminosae).

The roots are used for medicinal purposes.

It occurs throughout Ukraine (with the exception of the Crimea). It grows in upland and floodplain meadows, sometimes in forest edges and clearings, in sparse thickets of shrubs, on roadsides. Thickets of this plant are found in Transcarpathia, the Carpathians, the Carpathians on meadows and mountain slopes (Transcarpathian, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi regions), much less often in forest-steppe, steppe and in the south of forest regions along river valleys and gullies.

The reserves of raw materials are large, tens of tons of roots can be harvested annually, but they are largely lignified when collected in nature. In addition, the procurement of raw materials in nature is greatly hindered by the fact that the plant grows traditionally in places with continuous turfing. The plant is introduced into industrial culture.

Field stalk– perennial herbaceous plant. The roots are vertical, slightly branched, ending at the top with a short dark brown, often many-headed rhizome. Stem 30-85 cm high, erect or slightly ascending, branched, often woody at the base. In the forest and forest-steppe regions, there is traditionally a form without thorns at the ends of the branches, in the steppe – with thorns. The leaves are alternate, trifoliate (apical with one leaf). Leaflets are oblong-elliptical or oval, sharp-toothed, glandular-pubescent. Stipules broadly ovate, toothed, adnate to petioles. Flowers on short peduncles, two in axils of leaves (one at the ends of branches), form a dense spike-shaped inflorescence. Corolla pink or whitish. The fruits are beans, shorter than the calyx, with 2-4 seeds. Seeds spherical, small tuberculate, dark brown. Blooms in June-July. The fruits ripen in August. In the aftermath, secondary flowering is observed in August-September.

If necessary, the roots are harvested in the fall after the death of the aerial parts (October-November) or early in the spring before they begin to grow back (April). They dig with shovels, shake off the ground, cut off the above-ground and damaged parts with knives and wash in cold water.

After preliminary wilting for 1-2 days, they are dried in attics under an iron roof or under sheds with good ventilation, spreading a layer of 5-7 cm on paper or cloth and stirring occasionally. It is better to dry in dryers at temperatures of 40-45 °. The yield of dry raw materials is 30-32%.

According to GOST 16816-71, the raw material consists of dense cylindrical or angular roots up to 40 cm long and 0.5-2.5 cm thick at the neck, longitudinally striated, often twisted, with tuberculate bark. Outside, they are brown, inside – yellowish-white, grayish at the break, slightly fibrous. The smell is peculiar. The taste is slightly bitter, sugary-sweet. Humidity is not higher than 14%. Not more than (percent) is allowed in the raw materials: crushed parts of the roots (less than 2 cm in length) – 2, darkened parts – 1, organic impurities – 1, mineral – 1, other parts of the harrow – 2. No more than 10% of ash is allowed. Extractive substances extracted with 70% alcohol should be at least 20%.

Dry roots are packed in bales weighing 50 kg. Store in dry, well-ventilated areas. The retention period has not been set.

The roots contain triterpene saponin onocerol, glycosides (ononin, ononide), essential oil, resins, tannins. They are used as an antihemorrhoid, diuretic, choleretic and slightly laxative in the form of a decoction and tincture.

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