Now it is difficult to find out who exactly gave black root such synonyms, but they really exist, in particular, in Siberia, these are used names. In general, black roots have an unattractive reputation. It has toxic properties, and the seeds – you can’t think of anything worse – with hooks. Clings to everything that comes his way. Therefore, where this plant grows, they avoid grazing sheep – wool with seeds falls into balls and loses its marketable qualities. In addition, if sheep eat grass with black root impurities, it can cause them to be poisoned. However, this plant also has useful properties, but first let’s see how it looks.
It is a herbaceous perennial (sometimes biennial) pubescent with gray hairs, with a dark, thick tap root and few furrowed, densely leafy stems branching at the top. The basal leaves are petiolate, oblong-lanceolate, 15-20 cm long and 2-5 cm wide. They die at the time of flowering. Stem leaves are lanceolate, covered from below with felt pubescence, quite long. The flowers are drooping, brown-red, sometimes bluish, on long peduncles, forming thick tendrils, collected in panicled inflorescences. Black root blooms from May to August. The fruit is a nut. A common plant in fields, wastelands, cliffs and along roads throughout the European part of Russia, occurs in Siberia, the Caucasus. It also grows in Ukraine (throughout the territory in similar places) and the states of Central Asia.
Despite its toxicity, black root is a medicinal plant that is often used in folk medicine.
For the preparation of medicines, the roots and the above-ground part are harvested. The roots are dug up in autumn or spring, shaken off the ground and washed in cold water. They are used fresh or dried, spread out in a thin layer in well-ventilated rooms. The aerial part is collected during the flowering of the plant by cutting off the tops of the stems. They are used fresh or dried in the shade in the fresh air. Ready raw materials are stored in well-closed jars, separately from other plants. The use of black root products internally is possible only after consultation with a qualified phytotherapist.
All parts of the plant contain alkaloids cynoglossine and cynoglossine, glycoalkaloid consolidine, tannins, bitters and resins. The herb contains carotene (provitamin A), essential oil (up to 0.1%), choline, and the roots contain the dye alkaline and the polysaccharide inulin.
In folk medicine, infusions and decoctions of plant leaves and roots have analgesic, anticonvulsant, and hemostatic effects, so they are recommended to be taken internally for pain, cough, colds, various bleedings, as well as for diarrhea and dysentery.
When applied externally, black root products have a pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effect, stimulate hair growth. Crushed fresh roots are applied to boils, fractures (to reduce pain and accelerate bone growth). A decoction of the roots in the form of local baths, washes, lotions and compresses is prescribed for the treatment of clogged areas, fractures, wounds, ulcers, and inflammatory processes on the skin.
Root essence is used in homeopathy.
Dried grass is used as a rodenticide to fight mice and rats – rodents cannot stand the smell of the plant and leave the room. Fresh juice from the roots is an insecticidal agent.
The dye contained in the root is used to dye fabrics red.
Decoction of roots (external). 4 tablespoons of crushed raw materials per 1 liter of boiling water. Boil for 15 minutes, infuse in a closed vessel for 12 hours, filter. For baths, compresses and lotions.