The Mezereon is a bush with a height of 30-180 cm. It has yellowish-gray bark and upright stems. The leaves are arranged alternately at the ends of the branches, elongated lanceolate. The flowers are fragrant, butterfly-shaped with a hyacinth-like aroma, the petals are dark pink or red in color. Every spring, as the snow has melted, the flowers bloom on bare stems, as they have been placed in the nests of the previous year's leaves. This phenomenon is called cauliflory. Fruits are juicy, bright red drupes, covering the stem and branches below the leaves.
For medicinal purposes, the bark of Mezereon is basically used. It is harvested before the plant has started to bloom - in early spring and the first half of summer. After cutting off the branches, the bark is cut into thin strips and laid out in a single layer on drying screens in a well-ventilated and dry place. While the bark is still wet, you can only touch it with gloves, because the plant is poisonous and can cause skin damage, but in case of prolonged contact, the plant can cause poisoning of the whole body. It is customary to collect the fruits of the Mezereon - at the end of summer. They require specialized forced drying at low temperatures.
Most of its medicinal properties are due to the plant's poisonous resin mezerein and glycoside daphnin, which suppresses vitamin K. These substances are found in all parts of the plant. The bark of Mezereon contains resins, waxes, vegetable fats and gums. The fruit contains glycoside coccognin, coumarin, pigments, sugar and essential oils.
Scientists have found that Mezereon has laxative, antibacterial, sleep-promoting and phytoncide effects, but treatment with it is dangerous. Coumarin daphnin and daphnetin have anticoagulant and antibiotic activity, their sum also has an antitumor effect. Meserein, according to experimental studies, is able to produce antileukemic activity. Currently, this plant is being studied as a potential plant against thrombophlebitis and various types of tumors. This is one of the few plants whose potential is recognized by official medicine.
In folk medicine, Mezereon is a popular plant. Fruit decoctions and infusions are recommended as a laxative and fever reducer.
Extracts, extracts and ointments from the fruits of Mezereon and extracts from the bark are used for the treatment of ascites and thrombosis, used as a remedy for diarrhea, vomiting and against helminths, can be used against cough, toothache, tumors of the throat and digestive tract, stomach cancer, dysentery, jaundice, as well as conjunctivitis and dermatomycoses.
Externally, Mezereon is used against neuralgia, radiculitis, sciatica, gout, paralysis, polyarthritis and joint pain.