Gorobina zvichayna – common mountain ash

Common mountain ash (Sorbus ausuragia); Rosaceae family; mountain ash


This tree is well known. Its green lacy leaves and bright red fruits are not to be confused with others. Rowan will be useful to everyone – people, animals and birds. The fruits of the tree are eaten by bears, blackbirds, thrushes, snowbirds,

people also eat them. True, the berries are a little bitter, but after the first frosts they become sweet.

Mountain ash is a tree 5-15, sometimes up to 20 m tall. Its leaves are alternate, odd-pinnate, consist of 7-15 oblong or oblong-lanceolate, saw-toothed at the edges of the leaves. They are dull green on top, and gray on the bottom. The flowers are bisexual, form a multi-flowered mesh-like inflorescence. The fruit is apple-shaped, like a hawthorn, bright red or orange (the color depends on the place of growth and variety). It blooms in May, the fruits ripen at the end of August – September. Mountain ash is widely distributed in the forests of the middle zone of Russia, the steppe and forest-steppe zone of Ukraine, grows on the banks of rivers, on higher ground, and prefers sandy and peaty soils. Rowan has been grown in rural areas for a long time not only as a medicinal and food, but also as an ornamental plant.

Rowan berries are collected for medicinal purposes, they are included in the State Pharmacopoeia of Russia and Ukraine. In traditional medicine, flowers and, less often, leaves of the plant are used. Fruits are collected before the onset of frost together with the stalks. Fresh fruits can be stored at a temperature close to 0 °C. For drying, they are freed from the stalks, dried at room temperature and dried in dryers at a temperature not higher than 60 °C. Rowan fruits are on sale in specialized pharmacies. The shelf life of medicinal raw materials is 2 years.

Although it is called mountain ash, it is actually a multivitamin plant: it contains carotene (provitamin A), vitamins C (up to 100 mg%), B 2 (0.05-0.07 mg%), E (up to 5 mg%), organic acids (malic, tartaric, succinic), sugars (up to 8%), alcohols, pectin and tannins, micro- and macroelements. The leaves of the plant contain a large amount of vitamin C, carotenoids and other complex organic compounds, and the flowers contain glycosides.

The fruits of the plant are used, first of all, as a multivitamin remedy for hypo- and avitaminosis, they are part of vitamin teas. But this does not exhaust the useful properties of mountain ash. The fruits are used as an astringent, laxative, choleretic, diuretic and hemostatic agent. There is evidence that the products of the plant reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood and the amount of fat in the liver, so their use is useful for heart diseases and obesity. Infusion, decoction and juice from fresh fruits are used for jaundice (hepatitis), hepatocholecystitis, dysentery, hemorrhoids, uterine bleeding, delayed menstruation, and also as a contraceptive. Fresh rowan berries are useful for patients with hypertension, atherosclerosis and urolithiasis.

The flowers of the plant are used in folk medicine, products from them have diuretic and laxative properties.

Rowan is also known as a good honey plant — its honey productivity is 30-40 kg per hectare. Rowan honey is reddish, aromatic, crystallizes into a large-grained mass.

Fresh fruit juice. Take 50 ml 3-4 times a day.

Fruit decoction. 15 g of dried raw materials per 200 ml of boiling water. Take 1 tablespoon 3-4 times a day.

Tincture of fresh fruits. 200 g of crushed raw materials per 1 liter of 40% alcohol (vodka), infuse for 12 days, filter. Take 1 teaspoon 3 times a day. With menstrual cycle disorders in the climacteric period.

Contraindicated use of mountain ash with a tendency to increased blood clotting.

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