Bagatonizhka zvichayna – common centipede

Polypodium vulgare (Polypodium vulgare); licorice; common centipede


A perennial wintering fern of the Polypedaceae family, 20-30 cm tall. It has a creeping, sweet-tasting rhizome 0.5-1 cm in diameter, with two rows of straight, leathery, pinnately divided, elongated-lanceolate leaves with linear-lanceolate, entire or sometimes slightly toothed lobes and with petioles shorter than the plate. Sori on the leaves are open, rounded, placed on the segments in two rows on the sides of the midvein. Spores are formed in July. Spread. Occurs sporadically almost throughout the territory of Ukraine on rocks and at the base of trees in forests.

Procurement and storage . Rhizomes (Rhizoma Polypodii vulgaris) harvested in autumn or early spring are used. The rhizomes are cleaned from the aerial part and roots, washed, cut into pieces 10-12 cm long and dried under a tent, in heated rooms or in a dryer at a temperature of up to 40°C. 25% of dry raw material is obtained. Store in dry, ventilated rooms.

The plant is unofficial.

Chemical composition . The rhizomes of the common centipede contain tannins (2.5-3.7%), polypodin and samambain glycosides, saponins, sitosterol, coffee, malic, citric, butyric, hexoic, lauric, succinic and ascorbic acids, methyl salicylate, starch, rubber, traces essential oil.

Pharmacological properties and use . Common centipede preparations have expectorant, emollient, pain-relieving, diaphoretic, choleretic, diuretic, hemostatic and anthelmintic properties. In traditional medicine, products from the rhizomes of the common centipede are used for bronchial catarrh, asthma, lack of appetite, dyspepsia, gastritis, flatulence, diseases of the liver, spleen and bladder, nephritis, uterine bleeding, and as an abortifacient. As a pain reliever, common centipede is used for gout and joint pain. Externally, centipedes are used for sprains, polyps in the nasal cavity, applied to clogged areas.

Medicinal forms and applications. Internally – infusion of rhizomes (1 tablespoon of crushed rhizomes per 500 ml of boiling water) for a third – half a glass 4 times a day; rhizome powder 1 teaspoon 3-4 times a day; powder infusion: pour 3 teaspoons of rhizome powder with a glass of cold water for 8 hours, filter; the raw materials are again poured with a glass of boiling water for 15 minutes, filtered; the obtained infusions are mixed and drunk in several doses during the day.

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