Wolf’s bast, or common wolfberry

Wolfberry – Thymelaeaceae.

Parts used: bark, in folk medicine also fruits.

Pharmacy name: wolfberry bark – Mezerei cortex (formerly: Cortex Mezerei).

Botanical description. A low shrub, traditionally from 50 cm to 1 m in height, and in places especially favorable for it (in gardens or park plantings) even up to 2.5 m. The bark of the trunk and branches is gray-brown. Even before the leaves appear, pink or slightly reddish sessile flowers bloom with a strong pleasant smell. They are traditionally arranged in groups of 3 in the axils of fallen last year’s leaves. Leaves lanceolate, entire. Fruits are ovoid, light red. It blooms from February to March (in Russia – in April-May. – Ed.). The wolf’s bark prefers shady places and nutrient-rich soils. It grows along forest edges, in floodplain forests, along the banks of streams and in hedgerows. In the north of Europe, the wolf’s bark is less common than in the south. Like all other wolves, the wolf’s bast is under protection.

Active ingredients: daphnin glycoside, caustic substance daphnetoxin, as well as a number of flavonoids, sitosterin, resins and a number of other substances.

Healing action and application. Although wolf’s bast was used as a laxative in the old days, it should be warned against ingestion, as it contains a very poisonous irritant. Its usual external use in folk medicine as an abscess is also unsafe. It is possible to recommend wolf’s bast only in homeopathic dosages, and then only under the supervision of a doctor.

Use in homeopathy. The homeopathic remedy Mezereum is prepared from fresh bark, which is harvested before flowering begins. It is usually used for all kinds of skin diseases, eczema, weeping and scabbed rashes, redness of the skin, herpes zoster, and trophic ulcers. It is prescribed even for inflammation of the eyes, toothache and headache, aching joints, and diseases of the stomach. The highest dose of this drug must be D 1 , with Dg all further dilutions are used without fear.

Side effects The wolf’s bark is very poisonous. Its lovely red berries are the first danger for kids in the forest: 10-15 berries can be a lethal dose. On the skin, all parts of the plant cause powerful irritation, which can even lead to necrosis. The consumption of berries leads to severe irritation of the stomach, intestines and kidneys. Diarrhea, vomiting, fever with all skin rashes are the first signs of poisoning. It is necessary to immediately wash the stomach and go to the hospital. There will also treat the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat.

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