Lastoven ordinary, or medicinal

Lastovnevye – Asclepiadaceae.

Popular names: swallowtail, milk pods, pod grass.

Parts used: rhizome.

Pharmacy name: rhizome gore – Vincetoxici’rhizoma (formerly: Rhizoma Vincetoxici).

Botanical description. From a branched rhizome with many thin whitish roots, several straight, rounded, twig-like stems grow up to 75 cm in height. The leaves are opposite, with yellowish flowers collected in false umbrellas. The fruits are relatively large leaflets that open when ripe and contain numerous ovoid flattened seeds covered with silky hairs. Blooms from May to August. It is found traditionally in sunny places, in light shrubs and hedges, in wastelands, in forests, also on moist, nutrient-rich soils.

Active ingredients: flavonol glycosides, which determine some similarity in action with digitalis; sitosterols, alkaloids.

Healing action and application. This is a poisonous plant, so I warn against its use. In scientific medicine, the gusset is not used and is included in this book only because it once belonged to a favorite medicinal plant. The remedy acts as a diaphoretic and diuretic, as well as a laxative.

Application in folk medicine. Swallowtail tea was recommended in folk medicine as a blood purifier, especially for poorly healing wounds, purulent abscesses and ulcers.

Side effects. Despite the eulogies that can be heard even today, this remedy must be abandoned, since the slightest overdose leads to poisoning. It begins with salivation, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea and leads to convulsions, and then to paralysis of the heart muscle. At the first signs of poisoning, it is urgent to do a gastric lavage and consult a doctor or hospital.

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