Moldavian viper – Moldavian viper

Moldavian snakehead (Dracocephalum moldavica); Lamiaceae (Labiatae) family; Moldavian snakehead 

This herbaceous annual native to East Asia and Russia usually does not grow wild. In Ukraine, it is grown as an essential oil and honey plant, sometimes it grows wild.

Moldavian snakehead reaches a height of 40-70 cm. Its leaves are oblong-ovate, transversely opposite, bluntly toothed at the edges. The flowers are blue-violet, less often white, in rings at the ends of the stems, 20-25 mm long, collected in groups of 4-6, which make up a spike-like inflorescence. Snakehead flowers in July-August. The fruit consists of four nuts.

For the manufacture of medicines, the aerial part is collected during flowering. Raw materials are dried in the air in the shade or in a well-ventilated room, sometimes in special dryers at a temperature not higher than 40 °C. The plant is used only in folk medicine.

Snakehead grass contains 0.08-0.2% essential oil. Its main components are: citral (50%), geraniol (30%), some other higher aromatic alcohols, as well as various biologically active substances. The smell of the mashed plant is extremely pleasant, with a pronounced lemon shade. In folk medicine, the plant is used as a substitute for lemon balm, but apparently, snakehead surpasses it both in terms of medicinal effect and aromatic properties.

Judge for yourself: the infusion of the herb has a calming (sedative), analgesic and wound-healing effect. Most often, snakehead is used for tachycardia, various neuralgias, migraines, and colds. Externally, compresses and poultices from the herb of the plant are used for toothache, rheumatism, and for the treatment of clogged areas. Fresh crushed leaves of snakehead are applied to purulent wounds to accelerate their healing. Infusion of the herb improves appetite and promotes digestion.

As a honey plant, it far outweighs lemon balm. The nectar extracted by 100 flowers per day contains in different years from 4.8 to 15.8 mg of sugar, and the honey productivity of the plant is 200-600 kg from 1 hectare. Snakehead honey is light, transparent, with a slight lemon smell.

Some representatives of the snakehead genus, for example, the large-flowered snakehead (D. grandifhrurri) and others, have similar medicinal and honey-bearing properties.

Herbal infusion. 1 tablespoon of raw material per 200 ml of boiling water. Infuse for 15 minutes, filter, cool. Take 1 tablespoon 3-4 times a day for 15 minutes. before eating

Herbal infusion (external). 1 tablespoon of raw material per 200 ml of boiling water. Infuse for 15 minutes, filter, cool. The infusion is used to rinse the oral cavity in case of inflammatory diseases.

Compresses. The steamed dry herb is wrapped in gauze and applied to clogged areas for pain relief.

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