Astragalus is almost magical herb
Astragalus — unfairly-forgotten medicinal plant, which is easy to grow in the beds. Today there are many species of Astragalus, but in this article we will talk about the Astragalus propinquus, which is recognised by an official Pharmacopoeia as a plant-healer. By the way, according to one version, the herb Astragalus helped the Kremlin leaders live to a ripe old age and relatively good feel. Astragalus is magical herb. About the healing properties of plants and peculiarities of its cultivation will be discussed in the article.
Botanical description of the plant
The people called Astragalus peas wolf, cat peas, flights Polish, Glycyrrhiza grass, God’s pen, St. John’s wort, stone, etc. Applies Astragalus (Astragalus dasyanthus) to nitrogen-fixing perennials that help to enrich the soil with nitrogen.
Plant height no more than 35-40 see Many stems reddish, more brownish-grey, hairy due to the pubescence recumbent, erect, upright. The leaves of Astragalus — complex petiolate, carried on the Central elongated petiole up to 12-14 sessile, oppositely arranged, softly hairy pairs of leaflets.
Capitate, moderately dense brush inflorescences of Astragalus with 15 to 20 yellow flowers atop the stems. Due to the dense pubescence of all terrestrial bodies (excluding Corolla) short whitish hairs, the plant seems covered with delicate webs or felt.
Flowers of Astragalus, their structure is characteristic of legumes. Flowering lasts from late may to late July. Herbaceous smell weak, taste sweet. Fruit in the form of oval or elliptic-ovate, leathery beans ripen in July-August. Seeds are yellow-green, triangular in shape.
Medicinal properties of Astragalus
Medicinal properties of Astragalus (according to the literature) the first said and began to apply the Scythians. They called this plant the Royal grass or herb of immortality.
But today it is believed that medicinal herb Astragalus rejuvenates the body, relieves senile weakness, has a significant effect in fatigue, physical stress, increases vitality, and thus prolong life.
Through a unique combination of chemical composition, conventional medicine has developed on the basis of the Astragalus, the number of drugs used to treat the cardiovascular system and blood clotting.
The content of isoflavone delays the development of tumors, and increased amounts of selenium positively affects the whole body. Modern medicine today special attention is paid to all plants that contain selenium. It is not a secret that the deficit of selenium in organs and tissues greatly reduces the body’s resistance to cardiovascular and oncological diseases. So, the amount of selenium in Astragalus — one of the Champions among the herbs!
Infusions and decoctions of Astragalus are used in diseases of the liver and kidneys, as a sedative, to lower blood pressure, expansion of coronary vessels, etc. Today at drugstores you can buy «Syrup-Astragalus», infusions, ointments, creams, entitled «Astragal».
Finished products on the basis of Astragalus used in cosmetics: they smooth wrinkles, give the skin elasticity, relieve boils, abscesses and purulent abscesses.
Preparation and use of decoctions and infusions of Astragalus
In folk medicine, the Astragalus is almost a universal remedy. Experienced herbalists annually harvest the «grass of immortality» and if necessary, prepare decoctions and infusions (water and alcohol).
Use them for rinsing in diseases of the throat (sore throat, stomatitis, periodontal disease, etc.), rheumatism (articular), external burns, as an expectorant, with scrofula (drinking). Astragalus is almost magical herb.
Astragalus is a good diuretic in chronic forms of cystitis, pyelonephritis, urolithiasis. Decoctions of Astragalus healers believe the first tool in diseases of the Central nervous system and gastrointestinal tract.
If you regularly drink infusions and decoctions of Astragalus (4-5 weeks, then a break about the same and repeated the course) disappear or are significantly reduced heart pain, gone swelling, is aligned with the heartbeat and, in General, significantly improved well-being.
Herbal infusion of Astragalus
2 tablespoons chopped herbs (about 20 g) per Cup of boiling water (200 ml). Infuse for half an hour as welding, or 15 minutes in a water bath, cool, strain. Infusion to bring up to 200 ml. Drink 3 times a day for 50 ml or gargle 3-5 times a day.
Herbal decoction of Astragalus
In boiling 200 ml of water add 2 tablespoons of dry raw material (20 g), close the container lid and turn the heat off. Insist until cool. Drain. Drink 2 tablespoons 3 times a day (after meals).
Alcohol tincture of Astragalus
1 part of dry raw pour 3 parts of alcohol or good quality vodka. Tightly closed periodically for 2 weeks shaken. The present solution is filtered and closed.
Take 25-30 drops 3 times a day before meals.
Features of cultivation of Astragalus
Astragal loves sun, is drought tolerant but needs watering when grown in the southern regions. Grows in open places, shading and too frequent watering can lead to plant death.
Astragalus undemanding to soil. But clay soils are undesirable. Grows in acidic and saline areas.
The soil dug over in the autumn, bring to 1 m2 20-30 g of NPK or other complete fertiliser. In depleted soils additionally make 2-4 kg of manure (rotted). The plot is leveled.
In the spring before planting Astragalus the soil is harrowed by the harrow or hand rake. The second and subsequent years of cultivation, fertilising bring in the spring at the beginning of the regrowth of green mass.
Astragalus seeds before sowing, scarifying, can sandpaper. For best germination, and they still are soaked for a few hours.
Sowing carried out in late March–April ordinary way or in separate holes to a depth of 2-3 cm per meter have 10-20 seeds. The distance between rows is 40-45 cm
Seedlings of Astragalus appear in 2 weeks. In the first 2 months of plant development is very slow, and they require careful maintenance (weeding, fertilising, watering). Branching germination occurs within 1-1,5 months, flowering lasts more than a month. In the period of budding and beginning of flowering start harvesting of medicinal raw materials.
Annually, in late autumn, the aerial part of Astragalus dies. Winter roots with the kidneys resume. So Astragalus is almost magical herb.
Harvesting of medicinal raw materials
Procurement of raw materials, begins with the first year during the mass of budding–beginning of flowering Astragalus. Part of the plants 2-3 year growing season be sure to leave it on the seeds.
Herb Astragalus cut off in the morning until 11 hours in dry weather. Cutting is carried out at a height of 5-7 cm from the soil level.
The collected mass is cleaned from impurities and spread a layer up to 7 cm on the absorbent materials. It is impossible to prevent overheating of raw materials and direct sunlight on the grass.
Dried Astragalus is carried out in a well ventilated area or in a dryer at a temperature not exceeding 50 °C. After drying is determined by breakage of stems and petioles.
Dry Astragal with preservation of medicinal properties is stored for up to two years in a dry place in bags.