Biting Stonecrop is a perennial plant with a creeping, branching root. The stems of the plant are juicy, raised, reaching 5-15 cm in height. Leaves sessile, thick - "meaty". The plant belongs to xerophytes, the leaves of which store water reserves. In the first year, the plant forms a stem with leaves, in the second year it also forms flowers and ripens seeds. The flowers have a yellow-golden hue, five petals, bisexual, look like a five-pointed star. The plant blooms from May to July, it ripens its seeds from August to September.
The plant is propagated by cuttings, division of the bush and seeds. Ripe seeds are separated from the plant only during rains, thus trying to get to new places to grow with water. The bitter gourd is a drought-tolerant plant and can live without water for a long time. It is interesting that greenery with this plant tends to revive and grow again after a long drought. However, you should know that the plant is poisonous!
For medicinal purposes, the entire surface part of the plant is used, harvesting it during the flowering of the plant - usually this happens in June-July, cutting it with a knife. Harvesting takes place in dry, sunny weather. It is worth knowing the peculiarity of this plant, that if it is not dried enough, it can start both growing and blooming. The collected plant is definitely cut finer and dried in ovens or dryers at a temperature of 40-60 degrees, less often on sieves. There are some drying tricks that are used before drying this plant - it is washed with boiling water, thus killing its living cells that are able to store water. The dried drug is stored in a dry place for no longer than 2 years.
Alkaloids (nicotine, sedamine, sedinine), organic acids (lactic acid, malic acid, succinic acid, oxalic acid, ascorbic acid), glycosides, tannins, sugars (sadoheptose), waxes, flavones and mucilages were found in the plant composition.
Since the caustic lucky contains some 10 times more alkaloids than other brothers of its species, medicine does not see it as a promising medicinal plant. Biting Stonecrop is used in folk medicine as a diuretic, anti-inflammatory, stimulating and strengthening agent, in homeopathy it is used to treat hemorrhoids.
The preparations of this plant are useful for constipation, hypotonia and malaria, for the treatment of externally infected, purulent wounds, eczema, trophic ulcers, hyperkeratosis.
Fresh plant juice diluted with water is used orally to treat anemia, avitaminosis, vascular atherosclerosis, intestinal paresis. Undiluted juice is used to treat papillomas and skin warts, to whiten pigmentation spots.
Thanks to the alkaloid sedamine, glycosides and flavones present in the bitter luck, the plant setting has an exciting and tonic effect on the nervous system, stimulates breathing, narrows blood vessels, increases arterial blood pressure and intestinal peristalsis. The corrosive flavone that resides in the plant has a strong diuretic effect.
In folk medicine, Biting Stonecrop is widely used, due to its therapeutic effect, it is used as a stimulant, strengthening, diuretic, anti-malarial, diarrhea-producing agent. A decoction of the dried plant on milk or beer is used orally for anemia, avitaminosis, hypotonia, constipation, as well as to treat malaria, hemorrhoids, and jaundice. Fresh plant juice, diluted with water, is used orally - in case of intestinal paresis, atherosclerosis, anemia, exhaustion and avitaminosis. Undiluted juice is applied topically to skin warts and pigment spots. Often, the plant is also used in the form of applications to treat purulent wounds, burns, trophic ulcers and boils. A fresh plant is also often crushed and placed locally on oncological formations. Ointments based on this plant also provide good results, especially in cases of arthritis. rubbing it on painful joints. This remedy is also used for bruises and fractures. This plant is especially valuable in the treatment of malaria, only 1.5 grams of crushed plant is able to stop a malaria attack. The caustic juice of the bitter gourd, mixed with vegetable oil, is used to treat scalp dermatomycosis.