Black bearberry (Ballota nigra); black milkwort
Perennial herbaceous short-hairy plant of the labiumaceae family. The stem is ascending, branched, 50-120 cm high. The leaves are opposite, short-petiolate, simple, ovate, notched-serrated on the edge, wrinkled. Flowers with linear-acuminate bracts, bisexual, irregular, in axillary umbels, forming false rings, which are close together at the ends of the stem and branches; corolla dirty pink, occasionally white, hairy, with a tube no longer than the calyx, double-lipped; the upper lip is oblong, slightly helmet-shaped, two-lobed, notched, the lower – three-lobed, with a large, inverted heart-shaped blade. Calyx with 10 veins, 7-10 mm long; its teeth are lanceolate, 2-4 mm long, drawn-pointed, blunt, with a hard point, 2-2.5 times shorter than the tube. The fruit consists of 4 one-seeded nut-shaped lobes.
Distribution . Black peppermint grows almost throughout the territory of Ukraine in littered places, near roads, along ravines, on slopes.
Raw material . For medicinal purposes, the grass of the mint (Herba Ballotae) is used, which is harvested during the flowering of the plant. Dry raw materials under cover in the open air or in a room with good ventilation.
The plant is unofficial .
Chemical composition . Peppermint herb contains essential oil, bitter and tannins, pectins and malic acid.
Pharmacological properties and use . The indications for the appointment of black peppermint coincide with the indications for common shandra or medicinal lemon balm, but for pharmaceutical purposes it is impossible to mix or replace one plant with another. Most often, peppermint is used as a sedative, antispasmodic and tonic. Herbal infusion or powder is used in conditions of excessive nervous excitement, hypochondria, insomnia caused by nervous tension and obsessive thoughts, stomach and gastrointestinal spasms, painful menstruation, vasomotor disorders. Externally, as a pain-relieving agent, the herb is used for baths for pain in the joints and muscles, for poultices for rheumatism, sciatica, etc.
Medicinal forms and applications. Internally – infusion of the herb (10 g of raw material is infused for 20 minutes in a glass of boiling water) three quarters of a glass 2-4 times a day;
powder from the grass is taken 1 g with water 2-4 times a day.
Externally , the steamed herb is wrapped in gauze and applied to the affected areas;
herbal decoction (100 g of raw material per 2 liters of boiling water, boil for 5-10 minutes) for a therapeutic general bath (water temperature 36-39°, duration of the procedure 15-20 minutes, take 2-3 times a week until the therapeutic effect occurs).