Sphagnum moss begins to be harvested in the spring, starting from the end of April until the beginning of October, it is done in dry and warm weather. It is best to harvest this plant in June, when the weather is driest.
Sphagnum moss can be collected in different ways: collect the whole thing, together with the roots and dead stems, or collect only the top of the plant by cutting it off. In the first option, more drug will come out, but it will be more difficult to process it. The plant is harvested in small patches with 50 cm intervals, so that the plant can regenerate the stand. In this way, the plant will recover in a couple of years. Freshly cut moss is cleaned of impurities and thoroughly squeezed out of excess water.
Sphagnum moss is not recommended to be dried in forced dryers, but spread on a mesh in a well-ventilated area protected from direct sunlight. Well-dried sphagnum moss acquires its characteristic white shade, it is not crumbling, its optimal humidity is 25-30%. Dried moss is stored in paper bags for no longer than a year.
This moss can also be stored fresh - in the refrigerator or freezer. The collected moss is cleaned of debris, squeezed, placed in a polyethylene bag and placed in the refrigerator or freezer.
Sphagnum moss contains triterpene compounds (sitosterol, sitostanol), phenolic acids (fumaric acid, isochlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, pyrocatechinic acid, chlorogenic acid, ferulic acid), coumarins (esculetin, gerniarin, scopoletin, esculin, umbelliferone), lignocerol, lilac aldehyde, vanillin, paraoxybenzaldehyde, pigments, phenolic compound sphagnol, pectin substances, resin, sugar, coumarin, carbolic acid, cellulose, mineral salts, aldehydes.
The properties of sphagnum moss are related to its specific phenolic compound - sphagnol, which stops the development of pathological microflora: intestinal rods, cholera vibrio, golden staphylococcus, salmonella.
Scientists determined the presence of various substances in sphagnum moss with bactericidal and antifungal effects, as well as the high absorption capacity of the moss. Sphagnum moss also has good anti-rot and antiseptic properties. The stems of sphagnum moss are made of special cells that conduct water through them well, at the same time also blood and pus. The wound remains dry accordingly. Therefore, this moss can be applied to bandages, in case of festering wounds.
Biologically active substances of sphagnum moss have a strong bactericidal effect on streptococcal and staphylococcal cultures. As well as the coumarins and organic acids contained in it, they act on fungi. Sphagnum moss bandages, casts are useful in case of traumatic injuries, especially those sustained in extreme conditions.
American scientists tested the properties of sphagnum moss, parallel to the above, and found that this moss also acts as an analgesic with strong wound-healing properties.
In the medicine of various peoples, sphagnum moss, peat, peat decoctions are widely used to treat intestinal diseases and ulcers of the digestive tract. Yes, sphagnum moss is exactly what peat is made from.
Sphagnum moss is used for medicinal baths, increased sweating, fungal diseases, psoriasis, various skin diseases and joint pain. Dried sphagnum moss can be ground into powder and used on hard-to-heal wounds, abscesses, ulcers and burns. Alcohol extracts, on the other hand, are used to treat nail fungus. Also, the settings can be safely used as an analgesic in the case of arthritis, myalgia and radiculitis.
Sphagnum moss has also taken its place in gynecology practice. Chewing sphagnum moss helps during childbirth against pain and stimulates the birth itself. Sphagnum moss is known as a powerful contraceptive, especially for women who are allergic to chemical and latex contraceptives.