Medicinal dry ribs – medicinal gourd

Name: Sukhorebrik likarsky – medicinal gulyavnik

Sisymbrium officinale; the Cabbage family (Brassicaceae), or Cruciferae; glyavnyk officinalis 

The healing properties of dry ribs were known even to the doctors of Ancient Greece, and the orators who had to strain their voices while speaking in front of the people knew about them. Since then, in some countries, for example, in France, the plant is called the grass of vocalists.

Dry rib is a herbaceous annual 25-50 cm tall. The stem of the plant is branched, covered with rough short hairs. The leaves are plane-divided, with toothed lobes, almost spear-shaped at the top. The flowers are small, regular, bisexual, yellow, collected in elongated leafless tassels. They bloom from May to September. The fruit is a needle-shaped pod narrowed to the top. Medicinal dry rib grows in all regions of the European part of Russia and everywhere in Ukraine, usually near fences, buildings, in gardens, weedy places, near roads, sometimes in fields.

Dry ribs are used only in folk medicine. Usually, fresh grass is used, because it is believed that the fresh plant works more effectively than the dried one. Juice is squeezed out of it, medicinal salads are prepared.

The above-ground part of dry ribs contains a glycoside of the sinigrin type and the enzyme myrosin, the interaction of which produces essential mustard oil. Fresh leaves are rich in carotene (up to 76 mg%) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

The juice of the plant and its fresh leaves are an excellent expectorant, which is recommended for use in case of inflammation of the upper respiratory tract, especially for those people whose professional activities involve straining the voice (singers, actors, teachers). Diuretic properties of dry ribs are used for edema and kidney failure. It is prescribed as an astringent for diarrhea and dysentery. Tincture of fresh plant leaves is an effective anti-scurvy product.

Young leaves of dry rib are edible, they are added to salads, vinaigrettes, broths and vegetable soups.

Plant juice. Fresh crushed leaves are mixed with the same amount of water, squeezed through cheesecloth. The resulting juice is drunk in small sips of 50-100 g per day.

Herbal infusion. 1 tablespoon of fresh or dried grass is brewed with 1 cup of boiling water, infused for 1-2 hours, filtered. Take 1 tablespoon 4-5 times a day, sweeten to taste with honey.

Herbal tincture. 50 g of fresh grass per 200 ml of 70% alcohol. Take 30-40 drops 3-4 times a day. In acute laryngitis and as an anti-scurvy agent.

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