Spoon herb medicinal

(Cruciferae).

Popular names: bitter spoon, scurvy grass, spoon lettuce.

Parts Used: Whole fresh herb, extra fresh leaves.

Pharmacy name: spoon grass – Cochleariae herba (formerly: Herba Cochleariae), leaves of spoon grass – Cochleariae folium (formerly: Folia Cochleariae).

Botanical description.It is a biennial, sometimes perennial plant 15-30 cm tall. The stem is juicy, slightly leafy. The leaves are juicy, the lower ones are broadly ovate, long-petiolate, the upper ones are amplexicaul, sessile, deep heart-shaped at the base. White, pleasantly scented flowers are typical of cruciferous plants. They develop into spherical swollen pods. Crushed leaves or succulent stems have a strong mustard smell, the taste is sharp, reminiscent of the taste of watercress. Blooms in May-June. Since spoon grass is a typical plant of saline soils, it can not be found everywhere. In Germany, it grows on the coast of the North Sea, in Schleswig-Holstein; in the interior regions of the country it is not often found, mainly in brackish, waterlogged places. Collection. Fresh grass must be harvested before flowering:

Active ingredients: glucocochlearin (mustard oil glycoside), isothiocyanate, bitterness, minerals, tannins and a lot of vitamin C. Fresh grass contains from 0.18 to 0.3% essential oil.

Healing action and application.Spoon grass is used both as salad greens and as a medicine. It goes for food because of its refreshing, pleasant taste and high content of vitamin C, which is especially necessary in spring to protect against infections and enrich food poor in vitamins. As a medicine, it is used against constipation, in the absence of appetite, against disorders of bile secretion and to enhance the activity of the liver. It is preferable to use fresh plants or juice squeezed out of them. The action on metabolism, thanks to which the fresh plant helps against gout and rheumatic diseases, resembles the action of fresh dandelion leaves. It should also be noted that this medicinal plant helps to cleanse the skin and is therefore used for rubbing. The use for coughs and asthma, which existed before, is no longer practiced.

Side effects. Apart from possible complications from non-recycled pure essential oil, side effects are not to be feared.

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