reed calamus – marsh calamus

irnytsia, Tatar potion, shuvarnik, shuvar. sashina, talker; Aroid family (Araceae); bolotny air


In those ancient times, when the Great Steppe advanced to the west of the Eurasian continent, warlike nomads faced the problem of drinking water. It was necessary not only to water the thirsty army, but also to provide water for the horses. According to the calculations of the outstanding researcher Lev Mykolayovych Gumilyov, the number of soldiers was approximately 40,000. It will be recalled that each of them had three horses: riding, combat and reserve, therefore, the total number of animals reached 120 thousand. The nomads knew that the water is always clean in those reservoirs where the watercress grows. Therefore, horsemen carefully kept pieces of rhizomes of the plant wrapped in a damp cloth, which they brought from their homeland, and scattered them in those reservoirs near which the military routes passed. The marches were repeated, often along the same routes, but now the warriors and horses always had clean water at their disposal. For emergency disinfection, finely ground powder of the rhizomes of the plant was added to the water. After a while they drank without fear. This was one of the first applications of the bactericidal properties of plantain.

Since the 16th century, the ryegrass appeared in Western Europe, went wild and began to grow everywhere.

Let’s get to know the plant more closely. On swampy meadows, near water bodies, and sometimes just in water, you can still come across thickets of long (up to 1 m) sword-like leaves. This is the yarrow — a perennial herbaceous plant with a thick, spongy, white inside, creeping rhizome, on which the leaves leave characteristic half-moon scars after dying. The flowers of ayru are greenish-yellow, collected in inflorescences – the beginning. The fruit is a red berry. In the European part of Russia, the plant does not bear fruit, but reproduces vegetatively – by shoots of rhizomes.

On the territory of Ukraine, watercress grows almost everywhere: in swamps and marshy meadows, along the banks of reservoirs and rivers, at the bottom of streams.

Plant rhizomes are collected for medicinal purposes. they are dug up in autumn or early spring, quickly washed in cold running water, cut into pieces 15-20 cm long and dried in the air, after which they are dried in special dryers at a low temperature (25-30 °C). The finished raw material is stored in a dry place. Dried rhizomes of ayru are sold in specialized pharmacies.

The rhizomes of the plant contain essential oil (up to 8%), acorin glycoside, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) (up to 150 mg%), tannins, starch and various resins.

Its versatile properties have become known over the many-year history of the use of plantain in scientific and folk medicine. First of all, attention was paid to the bactericidal effect of the plant. As we have already said, in the Middle Ages, eastern tribes added plant powder to swampy and musty water, after which they drank it without fear. At that time, however, there was no industrial pollution of the environment. However, it has many properties – anti-inflammatory, analgesic, expectorant, choleretic, anthelmintic (anthelmintic) and, due to its bactericidal properties, disinfectant. Preparations of yarrow stimulate the appetite (for this, alcohol extracts of the rhizomes are used), stimulate the secretion of the glands of the digestive tract, they are used for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases, bronchitis, tracheitis, laryngitis (as an expectorant). Medicines made from plants used as a general strengthening and tonic agent. Ayru rhizomes are used (separately and as a component of collections) for baby baths with rickets and diathesis (jaundice).

In folk medicine, the range of use of ryegrass is much wider. Healers recommend infusions, decoctions, tinctures from the plant for the treatment of hysteria, neurasthenia, bronchopneumonia, pleurisy, dropsy, stomach ulcers and diarrhea. It is also used for arthritis, gallstone disease, liver and kidney diseases. Externally, a decoction of rhizomes is used to rinse the mouth and strengthen hair roots, and in the form of baths it is useful not only for children, but also for women suffering from some gynecological diseases. In the past, the juice from the rhizomes was used to improve eyesight, memory and hearing, as well as to eradicate the bad habit of smoking. Traditional healers sprinkled purulent wounds and ulcers with rhizome powder.

It is necessary to remember that all buckwheat products are contraindicated for pregnant women.

Essential oil, which is obtained from the rhizomes of ayru, has a specific pleasant smell, it is used in dentistry, as well as in the confectionery and perfume industries. In Western Europe, plantain leaves, pounded into powder, are added to the dough and baked into wonderfully fragrant bread.

Infusion of rhizomes. 10 g of raw material per 200 ml of boiling water. Insist for 15 minutes. Take 1/4 cup 3/4 times a day for 30 minutes. before eating

Tincture of dry rhizomes. The raw materials are infused with 40% alcohol (vodka) in a ratio of 1:5. Take 1/2 teaspoon 3 times a day before meals.

Infusion of rhizomes (external). 1 teaspoon of crushed rhizomes per 300 ml of boiling water. Insist for 2 hours, filter. It is used in a warm form for rinsing the oral cavity.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *