Anchusa officinalis L.

Alkanet is a biennial plant. Rhizome peg-shaped. The stem is erect, coarsely hairy, up to 90 cm tall, branched at the top. Leaves without leaflets, regular, arranged alternately, linear-lanceolate, margins entire, upper ones sessile, lower ones on petioles. Flowers bisexual, regular (actinomorphic), arranged in complex thyrsoid inflorescences. The flower is initially blue, later turns purple. An entomophilous plant that is favored by butterflies and hymens. In the absence of insects, the plant is able to self-pollinate, but in this case no seeds are formed.

When the fruit matures, it splits into 4 nut-like parts (eres). Blooms in May-August, produces plants from June to autumn. Propagated by seeds.

The above-ground part and roots of the plant are used for medicinal purposes. Inflorescences and leaves are collected during the flowering period of the plant from May to August. The plant is dried in a well-ventilated and shady place, as quickly as possible, because the plant tends to rot and turn black.

The plant is poisonous, so it is collected with rubber gloves.

Medicinal burdock contains many biologically active substances: alkaloids (in stems, leaves - cynoglossine, choline, glyco-alkaloid consolidin; allantoin - in roots), organic acids (succinic acid, malic acid, citric acid, fumaric acid, phenolcarboxylic acid), vitamin E, pigment (carotene), mucilaginous substances. Vegetable fats have been found in the seeds of the Alkanet .

Medicinal significance

Despite the rich chemical composition, the medicinal properties of the medicinal Alkanet are poorly studied. It has been established that the medicinal Alkanet is toxic and its use can have a bad effect on the health of the liver, so in official medicine this plant is used only externally. Allantoin extracted from the plant is used in the form of wet dressings or ointments to treat suppurating ulcers and wounds accompanied by sepsis. In folk medicine, plant extracts are used for the treatment of bronchitis and pleurisy, externally as applications for the treatment of poorly healing wounds. The plant has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, wound-healing, emollient, expectorant, fever-reducing, diaphoretic and diuretic properties. A decoction of the plant is used against dysentery, the leaves are used as a diuretic. The flower arrangement is an effective antiperspirant,

In folk medicine, the medicinal burdock is widely used, because it has many valuable properties (anti-inflammatory, diuretic, expectorant, temperature-reducing, antiseptic, wound-healing).

Decoctions of the plant are used in case of dysentery, leaf decoction, as a diuretic. The flower arrangement is an effective antiperspirant in case of diseases of the respiratory system - pneumonia, bronchitis, pleurisy, cough, flu, and it also treats febrile conditions, inflammation of the kidneys and toothache (by rinsing).

Alkanet is recommended for the treatment of festering ulcers, wounds and deep cuts, using it in compresses, applications and rinsing. An oral cold poultice can also be used to treat duodenal ulcers.

In folk medicine, the medicinal burdock is used for the treatment of oncological diseases, for reducing excess weight, and as a means of normalizing metabolism.

Alkanet is also used in home cosmetology, the fresh, crushed plant is used as a refreshing and soothing agent for sensitive and inflamed skin. In the case of enlarged pores and itchy eczema, add a medicinal burdock root to the bath.

In case of dermatological diseases, which are accompanied by skin maceration, you can wash with the infusions of this plant. Crushed plant is used as an application on insect bites to get rid of swelling and itching.

Not recommended for use

Alkanet is one of the poisonous plants and its use (especially overdose) can have a toxic effect on the liver. Alkanet cannot be used during pregnancy and lactation, nor should it be used by children. It is recommended to use this plant only after consulting a specialist.