A perennial plant with a strong and long root system. Roots horizontal, creeping. Ground-elder produces large clumps that connect to a single root. The stem is bare or sparsely hairy, hollow, weakly branched up to 1 m tall. The length of the leaves reaches from 10-30 cm, width from 15-35 cm. Grows on long petioles 30-40cm.

Small, white flowers are collected in complex inflorescences. The central inflorescence is larger in size than the side inflorescences. Lateral inflorescences are barren. The inflorescence has a complex structure, shield-shaped, consisting of 20-30 rays, at the end of each ray a smaller shield, on average 1.5 cm in diameter. Each small shield is formed from separate, average 15 rays with small, snow-white flowers at their ends. Only the upper, central inflorescence, which also produces seeds, is fertile.

Ground-elder flower blooms for an average of one month, usually in the first half of summer, but there are cases when it blooms in August as well. Ground-elder seeds ripen in August. Ground-elder propagates vegetatively and by seeds.

The leaves and young shoots of the plant are used for medicinal purposes. Ground-elder root is used much less often in folk medicine.

The plant is harvested until the first inflorescences appear in late April and early May. By periodically mowing the Ground-elder bushes, as they grow back, the plant can be harvested throughout the summer period. The plant is dried spread out in a thin layer or tied in bundles and hung. The place should be well ventilated and shaded. The end of drying can be organized in forced dryers, not exceeding a temperature of 40C. Ready drug is stored in paper bags. The plant is valid as a medicinal drug for 1 year.

When collecting Ground-elder , it is important not to mix it with similar and even poisonous plants: poisonous hellebore, common dog parsley, dogwood. Poisonous plants have thicker stems and taller plants than Ground-elder , purple and violet tones can be seen in their color, shorter leaves like gourd.

A lot of valuable substances are found in Ground-elder flavor, among which are proteins, carbohydrates: umbelliferose, glucose, fructose; cyclitols: scylitol, glucinol; lectins; coumarins: umbelliferone, bergapten, xanthotoxin; steroids: sitosterone; the nitrogen-containing compound choline. The surface part of the plant contains vitamins and organic acids: malic acid, citric acid, ascorbic acid; amino acids: arginine, histidine, leucine, lysine, threonine, baline, methionine, carotene; bioflavonoids: quercetin, kaempferol, as well as their glycosides.

65-100mg of vitamin C can be found in 100 grams of Ground-elder leaves, as autumn approaches, the vitamin C content increases.

The plant also contains phytoncides, falcarinol, falcarindol, enzymes, saponins, coumarins, alkalis, resins, essential substances in small quantities. The amount of essential substances is directly related to the place where the plant grows, on average, the surface part contains 0.02-0.04% of essential oil.

In 100 grams, fresh Ground-elder leaves contain 16.6mg of iron, 2mg of copper, 2.1mg of manganese, 1.7mg of titanium and 4mg of boron.

Medicinal significance

The substances present in Ground-elder are tonic, have diuretic and choleretic properties, as well as vasoprotective, detoxifying, antispasmodic and sedative properties. Ground-elder herb reduces inflammatory processes, relieves joint pain, acts against allergies, has antibacterial and antimycotic properties, prevents the formation of blood clots.

The surface part of the plant contains a lot of valuable carotene, which has strong antioxidant properties, has a beneficial effect on the human immune system and nervous system.

Ground-elder is also a valuable source of ascorbic acid, which the body is not able to synthesize by itself, but can only take in with food.

Since ancient times, Ground-elder has been used to treat podagra. Compresses of the plant, from the above-ground part of the plant, are used for this disease. In folk medicine, Ground-elder herb is also used to treat joint inflammations, such as rheumatism, arthritis and polyarthritis, arthrosis. Anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effect of Ground-elder reduces the symptoms of these diseases, and it is often used to treat skeletal muscle inflammations.

Ground-elder improves the functioning of the stomach, intestines and liver, and also stimulates the functioning of the kidneys.

Ground-elder has a calming effect and is used to treat neurosis and disturbed sleep, it also stabilizes the nervous system. For this purpose, folk healers recommend using the root of this plant in baths.

Ground-elder decoctions and ointments are used for the treatment of various fungal diseases.

Thanks to the trace element iron in the air, it can be used to treat iron deficiency anemia. For this purpose, Ground-elder is added to food, in the form of a salad, but can also be used in the form of a decoction.

The plant is useful in cases of hypovitaminosis and avitaminosis, as the plant is rich in vitamins and minerals. In folk medicine, the young shoots are used as an anti-scurvy remedy to treat scurvy, the plant is slowly chewed for 1-2 hours.

Thanks to the detoxifying properties of Ground-elder , it is used in folk medicine to cleanse the body of toxins and poisons, and it also perfectly helps against edema.

Not recommended for use

The plant does not cause side effects if there is no individual intolerance to it. It is not recommended for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, children and people with food allergies.

Importance of food

There is perhaps no more annoying weed in the garden than Ground-elder . But thanks to it, many families lived during the Second World War. Ground-elder does not have a period of rest, it grows throughout the year. Only frost temporarily stops it, but under favorable conditions, it quickly grows again. In case of a mild winter, it can also overwinter in a green form!

The young shoots and flower stalks of the plant are used as food. The young shoots usually have a few leaves and the leaves are almost transparent and their green color has a yellowish tone. Ground-elder that grows in a shady place produces edible shoots for longer, and they are also larger and juicier. It is also interesting that if you cut the new shoots in time, they will grow again during the season. Before use, blanch the gooseberry in boiling water for 1-2 minutes (the fibers in it can cause flatulence). Herbs with carminative effect can also be added to food to reduce the possible effect of Ground-elder .

Diet recipes

Salad from Ground-elder

150 gr. fresh Ground-elder , 25 gr. grated horseradish, 20 gr. cream, salt.

Young leaves are washed and poured with boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain the water, cut the leaves, add horseradish and salt. Mix and add cream.

Salad from Ground-elder and sorrel

80 gr. fresh Ground-elder , 2nd gr. sorrel, 50 gr. potatoes, 10 gr. carrot, 5 gr. vegetable oil, 15 gr. spicy tomato sauces, salt.

Boiled vegetables are cut, chopped greens, sorrel and Ground-elder are added, vegetable oil, hot sauce and salt are added.

Cold soup with Ground-elder flavor

80 gr. fresh Ground-elder , 40 gr. fresh cucumber, 15 gr. bow, 10 gr. dill, 1.5 glasses of kvass, 0.5 glasses of sour milk, 1 egg, 1 gr. ready mustard.

Boil the Ground-elder stock until half-cooked, grind it through a meat grinder and cool the decoction. Add cucumbers (cucumber can), onions, Ground-elder purée, dill, mustard, sour milk, kvass and salt to the decoction. When serving, add an egg.

Stewed Ground-elder with potatoes

100 gr. fresh Ground-elder , 100 gr. potato, 15 gr. onion, 1 gr. dill, 15 gr. tomato sauce, 15 gr. cream, salt.

Cut young Ground-elder leaves and shoots, salt and stew until half-cooked; combine with stewed potatoes and onions, add cream and continue stewing for 10-15 minutes. Add tomato sauce.

Ground-elder paste with cheese

100 gr. Ground-elder , 100 gr. Eastern thunderbolts, 100 gr. grated horseradish, 100 gr. cheese, salt.

Grind the washed leaves of the Ground-elder  in a meat grinder, add grated horseradish and salt, keep everything at room temperature for 1 hour.

Before serving, add grated cheese and mix. Used on sandwiches, as well as a side dish for seafood and fried fish.

Salted Ground-elder

1 kg of Ground-elder , 60 gr. salt.

Fill in jars, seal and salt. Hold for 12 hours and seal again until the juice appears. Store in the cold. Used to prepare first and second courses.