The gallant Soldier is an annual plant, 10-130 cm tall. The stem is branched, hairy with tiny hairs, the root system is fringed. Leaves ovate, wavy or bluntly toothed along the edge, on short petioles. Flowering begins with the arrival of summer and stable warm weather and continues until the end of August. Inflorescences - small baskets (<1cm dia.), which consist of marginal and medium tubular flowers. Marginal flowers - female (5-7 petals), white or cream in color. Inner flowers dichotomous, yellow, numerous, funnel-shaped.
Fruits - dark gray seeds, conical four-sided, up to 1.5 mm long, covered with light hairs. The fruit has aerial hairs, short, white cilia or films. Thanks to the aerial hairs, the seeds are carried over long distances.
The gallant Soldier is an extremely viable and fertile plant. From May to the end of September, one plant can produce 300,000 seeds, which easily germinate and give new shoots. In cases where the weather conditions will be unsuitable for seed germination (it will be cold), the seed can be dormant in the soil for up to 10 years, maintaining its germination capacity, it is able to grow even under snow. The seeds are able to ripen even on a plant uprooted from the ground. A plant dug out of the ground actively fights for life, sending aerial roots from internodal places and trying to take root. An uprooted plant does not wither for a long time, absorbing moisture from morning dew and rain.
The entire surface and underground part of the plant is used for medicinal purposes. The roots are collected throughout the vegetation period, the surface part is collected only during flowering (in June, its parts contain the most valuable substances). Roots are dug, cleaned of soil and dried at 50C. Roots are stored no longer than 2 years.
The above-ground part of the plant is collected in dry and sunny weather, by cutting the entire stem, leaving a little distance from the surface of the ground. The stems are dried, protected from the sun, laid on sieves, in a well-ventilated room. Store the drug in paper or fabric bags for no longer than 2 years.
It is desirable to collect gallant Soldier as far as possible from roads and littered places. The plant has a tendency to accumulate not only valuable substances for humans.
Stigmasterin and rubber have been found in the aerial part of the plant and in the roots. The leaves contain inulin, triterpene saponins, flavonoids, organic acids (caffeic acid, citric acid, succinic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid), tannins. 15 amino acids are found in the gallant Soldier , among which 9 are indispensable: arginine, valine, threonine, methionine, isoleucine, leucine, phenylalanine, lysine and histidine. Calcium, silicon, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium are found in high concentrations in the surface part of the plant.
Polyacetylene compounds (dihydrofalcarinone and falcarinone) were found in the roots.
The medicinal properties of the gallant Soldier are provided by the valuable biological components contained in it. In many countries, the plant is not officially recognized, but its medicinal properties are known all the same. The plant has a wound-healing, bleeding-stopping and hypotensive effect. The gallant Soldier contains substances that contribute to the acceleration of metabolic activity, as well as normalize the functioning of the immune system. The roots of the plant can be used to make antipyretics.
Decoctions of gallant Soldier help reduce arterial blood pressure, it is effective in bronchitis and colds. In the Far East, this herb is used to stop uterine bleeding. The active substances in the plant are able to activate the body's defenses, decoctions help restore strength after long and exhausting illnesses. Root decoction is used as a temperature reducing agent.
Applications of the leaves of gallant Soldier have a wound-healing and bleeding-stopping effect, and are also used externally to heal cuts and ulcers. Alcohol extracts are used to relieve rheumatic pain, arthritis and arthrosis. A fresh plant is used in case of sore throat, stomatitis, gingivitis, chewing it thoroughly and swallowing down the saliva. The juice of the plant is useful for treating eczema, acne and skin rashes.