Bear’s onion – bear’s onion

Perennial herbaceous bulbous plant of the lily family. The bulb is oblong, 2-5 cm long, wrapped in transparent whitish shells. The stem (flower arrow) is leafless, straight, (15)-20-40 cm high, trihedral or semi-cylindrical, full, longer than the leaves, rarely of the same length, in the underground part wrapped in sheaths of leaves. The leaves (2 of them, rarely 1 or 3) are basal, flat, elliptic-lanceolate, pointed at the apex, suddenly narrowed at the base into a petiole, which is equal to or longer than the plate, with its upper pale surface turned to the ground and has numerous longitudinal veins between obliquely directed connected veins. The flowers are regular, bisexual, collected in an inflorescence that has the appearance of an umbrella, surrounded by closed, then split into 2-3 ovoid-lanceolate pointed leaves with a covering; perianth simple, corolla-shaped, snow-white, with 6 linear-lanceolate leaves. The fruit is a box. Blooms in May.

Spread. The bear’s onion grows in shady deciduous and mixed forests in the Carpathians, in Polissia, in the Forest-Steppe and in the northeastern part of the Steppe. An endangered plant, the distribution of which is intensively decreasing. Listed in the Red Book of Ukraine.

Procurement and storage . Stems with leaves (Herba Allii ursini) and bulbs (Bulbus Allii ursini) are used for medicinal purposes. The grass (stems and leaves) is harvested in May, and the bulbs are harvested after the seeds have ripened. The collected raw materials (both grass and bulbs) are used fresh (in the form of salads, infusions, etc.), and for long-term storage, they are salted or pickled, less often dried.

The plant is unofficial .

Chemical composition . All parts of the plant contain essential oil (up to 0.07%), ascorbic acid (750 mg% in the leaf, up to 100 mg in the bulb), lysozyme. The composition of the essential oil includes allyl sulfides, allyl polysulfides, pinecholic acid, alliin.

Pharmacological properties and use. Bear’s onion stimulates the secretion of gastric juice and bile, increases the peristalsis of the intestines, destroys abnormal and promotes the development of normal intestinal flora, has a harmful effect on echinoderms, expands blood vessels, lowers blood pressure, increases the amplitude and slows down the rhythm of heart contractions, helps to dilute thick sputum with bronchitis, shows phytoncide activity. Oral use of onions is indicated for lack of appetite, indigestion, catarrh of the stomach and intestines (especially of infectious origin), diarrhea, high blood pressure, and atherosclerosis. In addition, bear’s onion is considered a good preventive measure against scurvy, flu, dysentery and typhus. As a “blood purifier” it is used for boils and rashes on the skin. Pickled onions also have the ability to increase appetite and stimulate the activity of the gastrointestinal tract. When used externally, the plant has a protistocidal, bactericidal, fungicidal, pain-relieving, anti-itching, anti-seborrheic, keratolytic and depigmenting effect. Crushed bulbs are used for the treatment of purulent wounds, mycosis, trichomonad colpitis, scabies and nested baldness, to stimulate hair growth, for inhalation to prevent influenza and to expel pinworms (administered with water in enemas).

Medicinal forms and applications .

Internally – leaves or bulbs in salads 5-10 g per day;

infusion (1 teaspoon of crushed onion is infused for 1 hour in 400 ml of cold boiled water) half a glass 3 times a day before meals;

Mix 10 crushed bulbs with 500 ml of sour milk and take 1 tablespoon 3-4 times a day after meals.

Externally – applications on affected areas; inhalations (porridge from the bulbs is injected into the nostrils with a cotton swab);

enemas (1 crushed bulb is poured with a glass of boiling water, infused until cooled, strained);

tampons (the mashed bulb is wrapped in gauze measuring 10×10 cm, tied and inserted into the vagina for 4-6 hours every morning and evening).

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