Madwort is an annual plant with a sharply grooved, succulent stem that tends to stretch up to a meter in length. The stem is sparsely hairy, covered with strong hook-like spines. These stiff, hook-like stings help the plant creep over lawns, shrubs and fences. If the plant has nothing to lean against, it lies on the ground.
Along the entire length of the stem, ordinary, hairy leaves are alternately or oppositely arranged on petioles. They are elongated elliptical or inverted ovoid, up to 5 cm long and 2.5 cm wide. The leaves are smaller in size near the flowers. Small, sessile, five-petalled purple flowers that eventually fade to pale blue. The petals tend to have white lines. Fruits - brown green oval, dry nuts, up to 3 mm long.
The entire surface part of the plant has a medicinal value, but more often only the leaves of the plant are collected. They are collected in the spring-summer period, dried on sieves and stored protected from sunlight.
The plant is not popular in medicine in our country, so its chemical composition is little studied, but it is known that the plant contains saponins.
Also, the medicinal properties of Madwort have been little studied. Sedative properties of the plant have been determined experimentally - using an alcohol extract on mice, which supports the saponins present in the plant. Thanks to these substances, the plant also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and is an expectorant.
In folk medicine, decoctions and infusions of the leaves of this plant are recommended for bronchitis, bronchial asthma, lung inflammation, hypoxia and gout. In Asian countries, this plant is used as a soothing agent, externally against various skin inflammations.