field eryngium

Common name: hollow thistle.

Parts used: rhizome.

Pharmacy name: eryngii root – Eryngii radix (formerly: Radix Eryngii).

Botanical description. It is a perennial herbaceous plant with a very branchy, thick stem and short-petiolate or sessile, stiff and prickly leaves. Multi-flowered capitate inflorescences are surrounded by a wrapper of covering leaves with protruding spines at the ends. Covering leaves of individual whitish or grayish-green flowers are narrowed into subulate spines. The brown lignified rhizome is thick, valky. The eryngium blooms from July to September. His homeland is most likely the Baltic countries, southern Siberia and North Africa. Quite often found in Central Europe in poor meadows, wastelands, sandy slopes and slopes, on roadsides.

Collection and preparation. Pharmaceutical raw materials – rhizome – are dug up in spring and autumn. Air dry, after dividing in half.

Active ingredients: saponins, essential oil, a little tannin, traces of alkaloids, malic, citric, malonic, oxalic and glycol acids.

Healing action and application. According to the nature of the active substances, the raw material should be used for dry bronchitis. Its slight diuretic effect has also been established. It would be an exaggeration to classify it as a cough remedy or diuretic, the plant enriches mixed teas against coughs and bronchitis, against urinary retention, teas for spring and autumn courses of treatment.

Application in folk medicine. Few medicinal herbs have been so respected in the past as eryngium. According to legend, the ancient Greek poetess Safra used its rhizome as a means of enhancing sexual activity. In such an action of this plant they very much believed in antiquity. In addition, the rhizome was valued as a remedy for regulating the menstrual cycle and treating gastric diseases; in addition, they believed in its ability to protect against infectious diseases. In the Middle Ages, its scope expanded significantly (chest diseases, dropsy, periods of depression, urinary retention, scurvy and atrophy of the gums, jaundice, consumption, skin diseases). Modern traditional medicine has adopted all these indications, as often happens, without any criticism.

Side effects. When using this plant side effects are unknown.

Side effects . In our time, scientists are also interested in the flat-leaved eryngium (Eryngium planum L.), whose rhizome (Eryngii plani radix) has a good effect against whooping cough. It differs from the field bluish-steel color of the stem and inflorescence. The birthplace of the flat-leaved eryngium is Hungary, the Balkans, Russia. In eastern Germany, it sometimes invades natural plant communities from gardens.

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