Norway Maple
Acer platonoides L.

Tree 10-35m tall. The leaves are oppositely arranged, ordinary, on long petioles, round-angular, 10-15 cm in diameter, star-shaped with 5-7 triangular lobes, pointed at the ends. The flowers are bisexual, yellow-green, relatively large (~1cm in diameter), arranged in shield-shaped inflorescences.

Fruit - two-winged with one seed in each groin. The common maple blooms in the spring before the leaves appear on the tree, in April-May, the fruits ripen in September. Pollinated by bees and bumblebees.

Medicinal value is found in the young parts of trees (bark, leaves, shoots, fruits and flowers, of course, juice), there are cases when mature seeds are used. The young leaves are collected at the beginning of summer, they are wrapped in the sun and dried in well-ventilated and shady places, or in dryers. The new bark is harvested in the spring, when the movement of sap begins. The buds are harvested in early spring before they bloom when they are mature. Before drying, they are placed in a cool room for a longer time. Flowers are collected at the very beginning of flowering, spread out in a loose, thin layer, dried in the shade, hidden from direct sunlight, or in dryers. The fruits are collected already ripe, dried in forced dryers or ovens. All plant parts can be dried in forced dryers, not exceeding 50-60C. The drug is stored in paper bags for no longer than 2 years.

The chemical composition of maple has been little studied. The juice contains organic acids (especially ascorbic acid). Saponins, traces of alkaloids and tannins have been found in the fruit, bark, shoots and leaves. In addition, carbohydrates, alkaloids, aldehydes (alpha-hexane and beta-hexane), organic acids (acetic acid, succinic acid, phthalic acid), rubber, carotenoids (alpha-, beta-carotene, xanthophyll, etc.), nitrogen-containing compounds (methylamine, etc.) have been found in the leaves. ), vitamin C, E, phenol carbonate acids (salicylic acid, gallic acid), flavonoids, anthocyanins, higher fatty acids, lipids (phytinyl linolenate). Cyclotols, rubber and vegetable oils in the seeds.

Medicinal significance

Maple has pronounced antiviral, tonic and antibacterial (against gram-negative and gram-positive viruses and bacteria) properties. The leaves have diuretic, fever-reducing, wound-healing, bile-repelling, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, body-strengthening properties. In addition to these valuable properties,maple can also normalize the functioning of the digestive tract, remove bacterial inflammations, have a beneficial effect on the CNS, improve muscle function and stop internal bleeding, reduce arterial blood pressure, and relieve pain in the joints.

Maple is used for medicinal purposes only in folk medicine. Maple bark is an effective anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent. Young leaves, shoots and inflorescences are used by healers as a powerful antiviral, tonic and antiemetic. In addition, in folk medicine, flowers are used to treat diseases of the digestive tract, throat problems, pneumonia, viral infections, hepatitis and acute respiratory infections.

A decoction of maple leaves is used to treat kidney stones, kidney and bladder diseases, scrofulosis. A decoction of maple leaves and seeds is recommended for use in upper respiratory tract diseases, acute respiratory diseases, herpes virus, inflammation of the lungs and inflammation of the oral cavity. A decoction of  maple leaves is recommended for use after childbirth. Maple juice is applied in case of scurvy as a body strengthening agent. Warm maple juice with milk can be used in spring against cough. A decoction of maple bark is useful for preventing diarrhea, and its decoction can also be rubbed into the scalp to strengthen hair roots. Freshly chopped leaves are applied to wounds and sores to heal them faster, peeled leaves are applied to boils.

Not recommended for use

When using maple products, side effects are usually not observed, apart from individual intolerance. However, maple is not recommended during pregnancy and lactation. It is also not used to treat small children.