Highlander pepper

Name: Highlander pepper

Other names: Water pepper.

Diseases and effects: hemorrhoidal and prolonged menstrual bleeding, diarrhea, wounds, abscesses, painful rashes.

Active substances: flavone glycosides, tannins, essential oil, higher aliphatic alcohols, betasitosterol, aliphatic carbohydrates, hydroxycarboxylic acids.

Collection time:  June – August

Buckwheat family – Polygonaceae\r

An annual herbaceous plant with a straight stem branching from the base up to 60 cm in height. By autumn, the stem gradually turns red. The leaves are short-petiolate, oblong-lanceolate in shape, with a narrow wedge-shaped base. The fresh leaves have a pungent, pepper-like taste, hence the plant’s name. When the leaves are dried, this taste disappears. Small greenish-pink flowers are collected in rare discontinuous racemose inflorescences with drooping tops. The flowering period lasts from July to autumn. Distributed in Primorye, the Amur Region, the Kuril Islands and in the southern regions of the Sakhalin Region; forms small thickets in places.\r

The aerial parts of the plant contain flavone glycosides, tannins, and a small amount of essential oil. Yankov and Damyanova (1970) found wax, higher aliphatic alcohols, betasitosterol, saturated and unsaturated aliphatic carbohydrates in Knotweed. According to these researchers, peppercorn wax contains esters of fifteen different unsaturated, saturated, and hydroxycarboxylic acids.\r

For medicinal purposes, water pepper herb is used in the form of an infusion, a liquid extract and a product of hydropiperine, which is the sum of flavone glycosides, purified from ballast substances. During the clinical examination, the data of traditional medicine on the hemostatic effect of water pepper products were fully confirmed. This action largely depends on the flavone glycosides contained in the plant, which, having P-vitamin activity, reduce the permeability of the walls of blood vessels and reduce their fragility. Apparently, some substances that increase blood clotting are also present in the mountaineer.\r

It is mainly used for hemorrhoidal and prolonged menstrual bleeding; less often it is prescribed for peptic ulcer of the stomach and duodenum. The infusion, prepared at the rate of 20 g of dried chopped herbs per glass of water, is taken 3 times every day for a tablespoon. For local use, Anestezol antihemorrhoidal suppositories are used, which include water pepper extract.\r

In folk medicine, peppermint products are also known as an antidiarrheal agent. They are used externally as painkillers for wounds, abscesses, painful rashes, etc. Fresh leaves are sometimes used as so-called distractions. According to E.Yu. Chassa (1952), for example, freshly crushed aerial parts of the pepper knotweed are used instead of mustard plasters.\r

Water pepper grass is harvested from mid-June to mid-August, when the redness of the stems begins. The upper parts of the stems are subject to harvesting: sections 30–45 cm long are torn off or cut off from the stems. It is necessary to dry the grass immediately after harvesting. It is dried in the attic or under a canopy, scattering it in a very thin layer, otherwise it deteriorates (turns yellow).

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