Meadow foxtail is a well-leafed, perennial cereal, 50-110 cm tall. Rhizome creeping, short. The stems are straight, smooth, curved at the bottom, slightly inflated and rounded at the nodes. The bush of an adult plant, apart from generative shoots, also has many short shoots with long root leaves. Leaf plates are narrow, rarely broadly lanceolate, up to 25 cm long, dark green or bluish in color.
The flowering period began in June, the seeds ripen in July. Meadow foxtail belongs to "morning cereals", its flowering starts from 4-5 to 7-8 in the morning. Inflorescence - spindle-shaped, elongated shape, cylindrical panicle, white-gray or dirty-gray, 10-12 cm long.
Fruit - ovoid, compressed grain, 4-6 cm long. The mass of 1000 seeds is approximately 0.3 gr. The seeds are light, flat, flaky, and have small, hard spines. Foxtail begins to produce seeds starting in the second year, less often in the first year. Pollinated by wind. Cereal blooms for 13-17 days. Grows up to 10 years.
Meadow Foxtail are harvested during the summer. Clean from coarse parts and dry in direct sunlight or in well-ventilated rooms, spreading the plant on racks. Store leaves and fine stems with inflorescences in a dry room for no longer than 3 years.
1kg contains <25gr of protein, about 3gr of calcium, 0.7gr of phosphorus, <70mg of carotene, as well as flavonoids.
Medicinal properties of meadow foxtail have been studied little, but German scientists recognized that the plant is an effective therapeutic agent for the treatment of rheumatic diseases, arthrosis, arthritis, providing a warming and pain-relieving effect.
The flavonoids in the meadow foxtail strengthen the blood vessel walls, specifically the capillaries, and have a beneficial effect on the functionality of the cardiovascular system. Carotene increases the body's defenses, strengthens the visual organ system.
In folk medicine, meadow foxtail is used in the form of bandages to relieve pain, soothe muscles and prevent cramps.
The plant, like other wild growing cereals, is able to stimulate blood circulation, improves the elasticity of blood vessel walls. Plant applications are an effective means to raise immunity, used therapeutically and prophylactically against colds and flu.
The plant is also useful in baths - in cases of rheumatism, vegetative dystonia and dermatological diseases. Foxtail decoctions are effective in cystitis and other bladder and kidney diseases.