Verba kozya – iva kozya

Name: Verba kozya – iva kozya

Willow goat (Salix sargea); nonsense, koryatnik; the birthplace of Werbovih (Salicaceae); goat willow


Goat willow is the most common plant in the middle zone of Russia. It often grows as separate bushes in thickets, bright places in mixed forests, among shrubs. Previously, the bark of this tree, due to its high content of tannins, was used for tanning leather. For this purpose, it is “dug out”, hence the popular name “koryatnik”.

Unlike other plants of this genus, goat’s willow is a tall bush or a small tree, 5-8 m tall. The plant is dioecious, some individuals have male flowers, others have female flowers. The branches of this willow are thick, spreading, brown, with large naked buds. The wood under the bark is reddish, then brownish. The leaves are alternate, entire, usually rounded, less often

oblong-lanceolate. Above they are bare, and below – grayish-pubescent, with 6-9 pairs of very prominent lateral veins. The flowers are unisexual, collected in thick earrings. Male inflorescences are ovoid, sessile, up to 6 cm long, female inflorescences are cylindrical, up to 10 cm long, on legs. They bloom in April-May, before the leaves bloom. The fruit is a box. Goat’s willow quickly adapts to wastelands and clearings, grows more often in wet places – this property is often used in phytomelioration. In Ukraine, it grows throughout the territory, although it is more often found in the north, in forests, on the edges of forests, among bushes, along river banks.

Medicines prepared from willow bark are used only in folk medicine. For medicinal purposes, bark is collected from 3-4-year-old branches. It is dried outdoors under shelter or in ventilated attics.

The raw material contains 12-14% tannins, flavonoids, flavone glycosides (2.5-3%).

Bark preparations have a wide range of therapeutic properties: analgesic (painkiller), sedative (sedative), anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, diaphoretic, antimalarial, antiseptic, hemostatic, astringent and wound healing.

Folk doctors recommend drinking bark decoction for headaches, neuralgia, neuroses, rheumatism, gout, colds, indigestion, inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, jaundice (hepatitis), diseases of the kidneys and spleen, especially in those cases when these organs cannot cope with the removal of toxic substances from the body. Decoctions help with diarrhea, inflammation of the urinary tract, some gynecological diseases, infectious diseases and bleeding of various origins. They are also used to expel helminths.

Decoctions of the bark are used to rinse the mouth and throat in case of stomatitis, gingivitis, periodontitis, angina, and other inflammatory processes. They are also used to wash wounds and ulcers. For hyperhidrosis (sweaty feet), phlebitis, varicose veins, leg muscle weakness after serious illnesses, foot baths with bark infusion are useful.

Goat willow is one of the best early spring honey bearers. Its honey productivity is quite high — up to 150 kg of honey from 1 hectare. The honey is light, delicate in taste, one of the earliest, the so-called May honey. Bees also collect a large amount of protein food – perga – from the plant.

Bark decoction. 15 g of raw material per 200 ml of boiling water. Boil for 15-20 minutes, cool, filter. Take 1 tablespoon three times a day.

Bark infusion. 1 teaspoon of raw material per 200 ml of boiling water. Insist until cooling, filter. Take 1 tablespoon 4-5 times a day.

Bark powder. 0.5-1 g at night.

Bark infusion (external). 1 teaspoon of bark powder per 400 ml of cold water, infuse for 8 hours, filter. With hyperhidrosis (sweating feet).

Bark decoction (external). 15 g of raw material per 200 ml of boiling water. Boil for 15-20 minutes, cool, filter. Used for rinsing the mouth cavity.

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