Popular names: knotweed, bird buckwheat, trample-grass, goose, grass-ant, chicken-eater.
Highlander bird (Polygonum aviculare L.)An annual herbaceous plant of the buckwheat family (Polygonaceae), with recumbent or ascending, strongly branching stems up to 60 cm long (the total length of branches of all orders of a well-developed plant reaches 100 m). Taproot, slightly branched. The leaves are alternate, small, short-petiolate, broadly elliptical, grayish-green. The flowers are very small, 2-5 in the axils of the leaves, pale green, white or pink at the edges. The fruit is a triangular, black, rarely brown, matte nutlet. It blooms from May to autumn, the fruits ripen from June to late autumn. Propagated exclusively by seeds. Distributed almost throughout the CIS from the southern borders to the Kola Peninsula in the north. Usually abundant in the middle zone of the European part of the CIS and in the south of Western Siberia, in the forest and steppe zones. Grows along roadsides, near dwellings, in wastelands, pastures, often forms continuous thickets on compacted soils. The plant is resistant to trampling. Grows well after repeated mowing. It is very unpretentious, due to which it is common on all continents, with the exception of Antarctica. In East Slavic mythology, knotweed is a symbol of fertility.
COLLECTION AND DRYING OF RAW MATERIALS
For medicinal purposes, the grass of the highlander is used, which is harvested during the flowering period of the plant, when the stems have not yet had time to harden. When collecting raw materials, leafy shoots up to 30 cm long are cut with a knife or sickle (in dry weather). It is not recommended to collect on grazing areas and within dwellings, in heavily polluted places. Dry in attics with good ventilation, under sheds or in the open air in the shade, spreading out in a thin layer. Its reserves in nature are large. Harvesting of raw materials can be carried out at the same place every year. However, for successful renewal, it will be necessary to leave for seeding within 25% of well-developed plants. The shelf life of raw materials is 3 years. The smell of dry raw materials is weak, the taste is a little tart.
Galenic forms prepared from the plant increase diuresis, excrete excess sodium and chloride ions in the urine, as a result of which filtration in the renal glomeruli increases and reverse resorption in the renal tubules decreases. Knotweed grass prevents the formation of urinary stones, which is associated with the content of soluble silicic acid compounds in herbal products of the plant, which are removed in urine in fairly significant concentrations. Herbal products of the plant have a positive effect on the function of the gastrointestinal tract due to tannins that have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and astringent properties. Flavonoids, silicon compounds and tannins of highlander reduce the permeability of the walls of blood vessels, increase blood clotting. In addition, it increases the contractility of smooth muscle organs, mainly by increasing uterine contractions. Plant preparations have insignificant hypotensive properties, deepen breathing, and have low toxicity.
APPLICATIONS IN MEDICINE
In scientific medicine – astringent, tonic and diuretic. In folk medicine – astringent, hemostatic, including hemorrhoidal and uterine bleeding, antihypertensive, vitamin remedy. It is used for tuberculosis, stomach ulcers, dysentery, malaria and various tumors, urolithiasis and cholelithiasis. Aerial part. In Chinese medicine, decoction and infusion – tonic, with neurasthenia and weakness as a result of the disease, antipyretic, hemostatic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and anthelmintic; externally in the form of ointments – for skin diseases. In Tibetan medicine – with serous arthritis, bleeding, septicopyemia. In European countries – for the treatment of tumors of various origins. A decoction (in milk) is drunk with various convulsions. Extract and infusion – astringent, anti-inflammatory, hemostatic and diuretic; with diseases of the kidneys, liver, stomach and bladder, pulmonary diseases and tuberculosis; with skin diseases, hemorrhoids, scurvy and gout, with colds and headaches; increase blood clotting, lower blood pressure; speed up the heart rate. Included in the fees used for chronic gastritis and other diseases of the stomach, bronchitis, kidney stones, uterine bleeding, cystitis, whooping cough, pulmonary tuberculosis. The herb of the plant is also included in the collection of Zdrenko, used for malignant tumors. In folk medicine, the juice is used for hypertension, neuroses, convulsive syndromes, diseases of the lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and urinary system. With long-term use, it dissolves kidney and bladder stones well. Outwardly – applied to wounds, ulcers and bruises; in the form of baths – for all kinds of skin diseases in babies.
DOSAGE FORMS, METHOD OF APPLICATION AND DOSES
Infusion of herb knotweed (Infusum herbae Polygoni avicularis): 15 g (3 tablespoons) of raw materials are placed in an enamel bowl, pour 200 ml of hot boiled water, cover with a lid and heat in boiling water (in a water bath) for 15 minutes, cool at room temperature for 45 minutes, filter, the remaining raw material is squeezed out. The volume of the resulting infusion is adjusted with boiled water to 200 ml. Take 1/3 – 1/2 cup 2-3 times every day before meals. A decoction of the grass knotweed (Decoctum herbae Polygoni avicularis): prepared in the ratio of raw materials to the extractor 1:10. The crushed raw materials are poured with water at room temperature, put in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes, cooled for 15 minutes, then filtered. Take 1 tablespoon 3 times every day. ♦ Knotweed juice: squeezed from fully developed plants picked during the flowering period.
APPLICATIONS IN OTHER FIELDS
The roots were formerly used to obtain blue dye, but the method of obtaining it has now been lost. With ordinary dyeing techniques, it gives green and yellow tones; neutral and acid extracts dye silk and wool in creamy, bright yellow tones. Young grass greens are eaten. In Central Asia, grass powder is smoked when tired. Knotweed grass washes dishes well. Gives beautiful lawns in the form of a green carpet, effective for large areas. Recommended for fixing soils and landscaping stadiums, airfields, etc. Easily propagated by seeds. It is a valuable fodder crop. Hay from its grass is not inferior in nutritional value to alfalfa, clover, and rank. It is readily eaten by cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens, geese. The fruits are food for domestic and commercial birds.
Knotweed salad with other herbs.
Knotweed grass (100 g), nettle leaves (50 g), sorrel (50 g), plantain (50 g), dandelion (50 g), borage (50 g) blanch for 3-5 minutes, put in a colander, chop, add chopped hard-boiled egg, green onions (25 g), carrots, salt. Season with mayonnaise (sour cream, vegetable oil, tomato sauce) (50 g). Sprinkle with dill and parsley.
Mix washed and chopped young leaves (50 g) with chopped hard-boiled egg (1 pc.). Salt (to taste), sprinkle with dill and season with sour cream (20 g).
Knotweed and nettle seasoning.
Rinse fresh leaves of knotweed and nettle with cold water, drain, pass through a meat grinder, salt. Store in a cool place in a glass container. Use for dressing soups, cabbage soup, borscht, second courses, for stuffing pies and dumplings.
Sliced potatoes (100 g) boil in water or broth (350 ml) for 15-20 minutes, add chopped knotweed (100 g), browned onions (50 g), carrots (10 g), fats (5 g) and salt (to taste).
Schi with knotweed.
In meat broth or water (500 ml), boil potatoes (50 g), carrots (80 g), onions (50 g), cabbage (150 g), add chopped greens (100 g) or knotweed herb powder, salt, boil. Season with browned carrots and onions. Before serving, put a hard-boiled egg, sour cream (25 g), sprinkle with dill and parsley on plates.
Cook the washed knotweed greens (100 g) and carrots (10 g) until half cooked, then pass through a meat grinder, add browned onions (10 g) and simmer until tender. After cooling, sprinkle with dill (5 g) and season with vegetable oil (5 g), vinegar (5 g) and mustard (1 g).
Knotweed and nettle puree.
Washed leaves of knotweed and nettle, taken in equal amounts, pass through a meat grinder and salt (to taste). Use for dressing soups (2 tablespoons per serving), as a seasoning for second meat and fish dishes, as well as for salads (1-2 tablespoons per serving).
Knotweed and garlic puree.
Knotweed greens (200 g) and garlic (50 g) pass through a meat grinder, salt (to taste) and mix. Add pepper and season with vinegar.
Infuse fresh (500 g) or dried herb in chilled boiled water (1.5 l) for 4-6 hours, strain, add lemon juice (20 g), berry syrup (to taste), rosehip infusion (500 ml), sugar (taste).
Rinse the grass thoroughly with cold water, dry in the shade, cut into small pieces and brew like tea. Useful vitamin drink to drink with sugar, jam, honey.