The Gvozdykov family did not give humans too many representatives of medicinal plants, but some of them have been known for a long time, and they are used both in scientific and folk medicine.
This is, for example, the medicinal soapwort — a herbaceous perennial 30-90 cm tall. The rhizome of the plant is creeping, branched, red-brown. The stem of soapwort is usually straight, bare or covered with short, rough hairs. The leaves are opposite, narrowed at the base into a short petiole, oblong or elliptical, three longitudinal relief veins are clearly visible on them. The edges of the leaves are woolly pubescent. The flowers are regular, bisexual, white or pale pink, collected in panicle-like inflorescences. They bloom in June-September, have a pleasant smell. At dusk, the flowers are more fragrant than during the day. The fruit is a box. Under natural conditions, the plant grows in the south of the European part of Russia in river valleys, on the edges of forests, floodplain meadows, in thickets of shrubs, sometimes in wastelands. In the middle lane, soapwort is often grown in front gardens as an ornamental and medicinal plant. It occurs wild in Western Siberia. Mylnyanka also grows in Western Europe, Asia Minor, the Caucasus and Ukraine (all over the territory among bushes, on forest edges, sandy meadows, in river valleys, near houses and roads).
Previously, soapwort was included in the national Pharmacopoeia, now it is used only in folk medicine. In Western Europe, it is still in the Pharmacopoeia of France, Germany, Holland, Finland and Portugal.
The rhizomes of the plant and its aerial part are harvested for medicinal purposes. The rhizomes are dug up in the fall or in the spring, carefully cleaned from the ground, the remains of the stems are removed and quickly washed in cold water. The obtained raw materials are dried in the open air, spread out in a thin layer on cloth or paper, and additionally in special dryers at a temperature of up to 50 °C. The grass is collected during flowering by cutting off the tops of the plants (no more than 30 cm long), and the leaves are cut off from the lower part. The collected raw materials are dried in the shade, under cover, dried in dryers at a temperature of up to 40 °C. Store the finished product in cool, dry, ventilated rooms. All operations with raw materials are carried out in goggles and a respirator, since the smallest parts of the plant have an irritating effect on the mucous membrane of the eyes and nasopharynx.
The rhizomes and roots of soapwort contain many saponins (hence the generic Latin name of the plant) – up to 25%, including triterpene saponins, the so-called saponazides A, B, C and D. The leaves contain the triterpene saponin saponaroside, glycoside saponarin and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) (up to 1%).
Soapwort preparations have an expectorant, diuretic, diaphoretic and choleretic effect, contribute to the removal of toxic metabolic products from the body (with normal functioning of the body and in case of serious diseases). They prevent the formation of stones in the gall bladder, have anti-edematous properties, and accelerate the healing of wounds after surgery. The use of infusion of rhizomes is indicated for dry bronchial cough, in this case the product facilitates expectoration and separation of sputum. The infusion is also used for bronchial asthma, sycosis, general intoxication of the body, jaundice, dermatoses and gout. Externally, a decoction of a mixture of soapwort rhizomes with sage leaves is prescribed for seborrhea and hair loss.
An overdose of plant products is unacceptable, as it causes serious consequences, and their use is contraindicated in bleeding from the digestive tract, acute catarrh of the stomach and intestines, after operations on the intestines, biliary and urinary tracts.
In everyday life, the plant is used as a substitute for soap – crushed roots with water give a stable foam. The soapwort form with full flowers is grown in gardens as an ornamental plant.
Eating a large amount of plant grass by animals causes severe poisoning in them.
Infusion of rhizomes . 1 tablespoon of crushed rhizomes is infused for 8 hours. on 250 ml of cold boiled water, filter. Drink this amount during the day in small sips to improve expectoration.
Decoction of rhizomes. 20 g of crushed rhizomes per 0.5 l of boiling water, boil for 5 minutes, filter. Take 1/2 cup 3 times a day (the first portion on an empty stomach) for liver diseases, eczema, and herpes.
Decoction of grass. 30g of raw material per 1 liter of boiling water, boil for 5 minutes, filter. The resulting amount of decoction is divided into equal portions, taken during the day for jaundice (hepatitis).
Decoction of rhizomes (external). Boil 30 g of a mixture of soapwort rhizomes and medicinal sage leaves in a 1:2 ratio for 5 minutes. in 250 ml of boiling water. Strain and use warm for gargling with sore throats.
Decoction of rhizomes (external). Boil 20 g of chopped rhizomes of soapwort for 5 minutes. in 250 ml of boiling water. Strain and use warm for lotions and washes for herpes.