Gorichnik nasturtium

Popular names: royal root, magisterial root, siren root.

Parts used: rhizomes and roots.

Pharmacy name: Rhizoma rhizome – Imperatoria rhizoma (formerly: Rhizoma Imperatoria).

Botanical description. Perennial plant 40-100 cm tall, with slightly leafy stem. Thin shoots extend from a thick (up to 1.5 cm in diameter) brown rhizome. The leaves are single- or double-triple-pinnate. Small white flowers are collected in large multi-flowered umbrellas. Blooms from June to August. The plant often forms dense thickets, but is not found everywhere. It grows high in the mountains (in the Alps above 1000 m, not often below); prefers calcareous soils and silicas of mountain meadows, banks of streams, wet bushes.

Collection and preparation. You need to know gorichnik very well: you can confuse it with poisonous umbrella ones! All parts of the plant are very fragrant. This is especially true for the rhizome, which is the pharmacy raw material. It smells like celery or angelica. The best time for harvesting rhizomes is early spring or late autumn. The rhizomes are washed and dried in the shade.

Active ingredients: essential oil, bitterness, tannins. Their action is complemented by all kinds of coumarins, resins, gums. And of course, as in all roots and rhizomes, there is starch, sugar and pectin.

Healing action and application. Gorichnik belongs to the group of medicinal plants containing aromatic bitterness. So all indications for use are the same as for angelica: disorders in the stomach, intestines, liver and gallbladder. In areas where gorichnik is abundant (Austria, Switzerland), it is used for steam baths (inhalations) for asthma and bronchitis. The action is very good.

  • Steam bath with yogurt: take 2 tablespoons of raw materials in the form of powder or finely ground root. 1/2 liter of boiling water is poured. Hot steam inhalation lasts 10 minutes.

Side effects with moderate use should not be feared.

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