One-flowered Wintergreen is a perennial, winter-hardy plant, 5-15 cm tall. The rhizome is creeping, thin, strongly branched, located on the surface of the soil. Stems erect, weakly grooved. The leaves are in a false rosette, oval, rounded or rounded-oval-shaped, finely toothed along the edge, up to 25 mm long, located on the petioles, located at the base of the plant. Leaves pale green.
The flower is drooping, fragrant on a long peduncle, solitary, up to 25mm in diameter. Petals white, wide open, straight or bent at the tips. Blooms in June-July.
Fruit - a round knob, 6-8mm. The seeds ripen in August. Propagated by seeds and vegetatively. For the first years, the sprout from the seed lives underground (saprophytic), later it forms above-ground shoots.
One-flowered Wintergreen is not a very common plant in Latvia, and in other parts of the world it is even protected because it multiplies and grows slowly.
For medicinal purposes, the above-ground part of the plant is harvested during flowering. Drying is carried out in well-ventilated areas protected from the sun or in forced dryers, at low temperatures <35C.
Tritepenoids, iridoids, steroids, phenolic carbonic acids, flavonoids and arbutin were found in the plant. In 1995, a unique antibiotic substance - chlorohymaphylline - was found in the plant.
The plant has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, hemostatic, wound healing, diuretic and emetic properties. Vomiting is induced with the help of the plant when using it in larger doses.
The extract of the plant in alcohol or water is used as a diuretic and emetic agent, for the treatment of various diseases of the digestive tract, as well as for the treatment of heart diseases. Externally, the decoction is also used to rinse the eyes in case of conjunctivitis and blepharitis.
Orally, a decoction of leaves is used for all types of internal bleeding, as a hemostatic agent, externally to treat purulent wounds. The decoction can also be rubbed into painful joints to reduce pain symptoms.
A decoction of one-flowered Wintergreen is also drunk in case of diarrhoea, as an astringent and against spastic colitis.