Wood cow-wheat


An annual, semi-parasitic plant with a fine and undeveloped root, which is able to attach to the root of the host plant and consume its ingested substances and water. The height of a plant is directly related to which host plant it managed to attach to. The host plant can be trees and shrubs, such as yew, spruce, alder, hazel, pine, and even grasses - foal's foot, shepherd's sedge, gouty sedge, lakachi, etc. On the roots of the alder, the sedge often grows up to 60 cm in size, at the same time it is attached to annuals plants, it will grow well if 15cm tall. The plant is visually very attractive, as you can see in the picture. And this plant has another unique feature - its seeds contain a bag inside which contains ethereal substances that ants like, then they also carry the seeds of the Wood cow-wheat around the area.

Folk medicine, healing uses the entire surface part of Wood cow-wheat , as well as its fruits. The plant is harvested during its flowering from May to September. It is either cut or plucked with the whole root. The plant is dried in a shaded place, in the field or in a well-ventilated room. It can be tied into bundles and hung, or spread thinly on sieves. The fruit-seed boxes start to be prepared from July.

The plant contains 9 flavonoids and about 5 phenolic acids. Among them, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, ferulic acid, lutein, hyperoside, quercitrin, cinnaroside. The amount of flavonoids in Wood cow-wheat ranges from 0.04-2.3%. The plant also contains traces of alkaloids and iridoids, steroid saponins, salt, starch, pectin, sugar, including xylose, maltose, glucose and dulcite glycoside. The seeds contain the toxic glycoside aucubin (rinantin). Up to 0.6% ascorbic acid can be found in the flowers of the plant, and up to 1% in the leaves.

Medicinal significance

Wood cow-wheat is a promising plant that could be subjected to pharmacological studies. In experiments, the setting of the burdock root shows that it strengthens the parasympathetic innervation, creates a calming effect, remotely resembling the effects of tranquilizers. The preparations extracted from the plant have neuroleptic, cardiotonic, sedative, hypotensive and antipyretic effects. It has been experimentally determined that the plant is useful for the treatment of the early stages of epilepsy, in the later stages of epilepsy the Wood cow-wheat root will help to reduce the doses of antipyretics.

In folk medicine, Wood cow-wheat has found its place a long time ago. Many valuable properties are attributed to the plant. The preparations are used to treat hypertension, heart disease, stomach and intestinal diseases. Wood cow-wheat root tea is brewed to reduce dizziness, epileptic attacks, neuralgia.

Plant decoctions are also used in compresses and baths to treat scabies, diathesis, inflammations caused by diapers, skin tuberculosis, rashes of various etiologies, rheumatism and eczema. A fresh plant is placed on wounds to help them heal faster.

Not recommended for use

Wood cow-wheat is a poisonous plant and it is not only harmful to houseplants. In case of an overdose of the mullein, drowsiness, weakness, vomiting and diarrhea can be observed, and most dangerously, the plant weakens the heart. Before using brushwood, it is imperative to consult a specialist and strictly follow the prescribed doses. It should never be given to children, pregnant women, lactating mothers and patients with heart failure.