Common Orache is a plant that has a taproot. The stem is 30-100 cm tall, bare, erect, branched, with horizontal or raised branches. The leaves are green, single-colored on both sides, thin, hanging down, on a short stalk. The leaves are oppositely arranged with an arrow-shaped base, broadly cuneate or almost lanceolate, with a short apex at the top, almost always with an entire margin. The flowers are arranged in dense inflorescences. Blooms in June-July, seeds ripen in September, until mid-October.
The above-ground part of the plant (leaves, young stems, flowers, seeds) is used for medicinal purposes. It is used both fresh and dried. The plant is harvested during flowering. Hang to dry in bundles, in a shady and well-ventilated place. The seeds are collected according to their degree of maturity. The above-ground part of the plant can be stored for one year, the seeds for up to three years.
For food, the plant is harvested before flowering, while it is still young and juicy. The tops of the plant can also be harvested later, without flowers, for food.
The plant becomes especially valuable during its flowering. It contains saponins, betaine, ascorbic acid, carotene, essential oils, rutin, <30% protein, a lot of fiber and mineral salts.
The Common Orache is used only in folk medicine, and even more widely. It is used as a poultice in gout, hemorrhoids, itchy skin, jaundice, weak menstruation and leucorrhoea. The plant can also be successfully used as a pain reliever in case of gastric colitis. The plant is also used for the treatment of dry and chronic cough, as an expectorant. The plant is also used during childbirth to make it easier. In various mixtures, the plant is used as a remedy against benign tumors.
The leaves of the plant have antibacterial activity, so they can be applied fresh to the wound. By grinding a fresh plant into a paste, it can be used to draw out pus from festering wounds and scabs.
Externally, plant decoctions are used to gargle sore throats and to gargle with itchy skin.
Common Orache can be used to treat amenorrhoea, jaundice, lung diseases, as an anti-hemorrhagic and diuretic agent. The plant will help well to treat scrofula, tumors and blisters. In the form of tea, it is used for the treatment of cough, hard-to-remove sputum, hoarseness. The plant is also useful for treating hypovitaminosis and scurvy.
It is good to know that the pollen of this plant is the strongest allergen that is found in our country.