The castanets are a perennial plant that uses its reserves to keep tuberificada root, rounded, black on white outer parts of the interior. Stems and leaves have a fine hair that does not hide his splendid greenery. The stem is fleshy and the leaves are narrow and long-lanceolate. The flowers are collected in long clusters, each with its own rebar, and each bunch contains two or three leaves at the base. The fruits are elongated and compressed laterally.
It breeds between the crops, on fallow land and uncultivated sites in southern Spain, mainly throughout Andalusia.
The herb flowers from May onwards, the fruits ripen from July. For medicinal purposes interested in tubers and roots, although the entire plant can be exploited, as in any part of them can find lots of starch and this component its principal virtue.
The herbaceous parts of the castanets contain about 6% of tanning materials, which result in rising to over 10%. We also found a substance with an odor like that dismisses chamomile. The root also contains starch, resins, gums, fats and, according to some authors there is a substance that may be of hemolytic saponin nature. But of all these components that really matters is the starch, which is distributed mainly in the root that has tuberificada
The main virtue of this herb is to be astringent. Also it was wished to attribute a paralyzing action on motor nerves, similar to the action of curare, but this is still a little shaken and rather seems attributable to some old legend. In some countries the leaves have some popularity against inflammations of the respiratory and digestive tracts, used to fight colds bronchial soothe coughs, reduce inflammation of hemorrhoids, and so on. The astringent properties of the herb can effectively use it for diarrhea. In any case, should be used cautiously because of the adverse effects that may occur in high doses. In homeopathic medicine is indicated for some type dietary changes, although not usually spend too much.
The tubers of this plant is usually eaten as if it were any other potato, still quite nutritious. There are some preparations in case you want to use as an astringent antidiarrheal or their virtues, but almost always prefer to consume directly Needless to say, properly washed and free from inedible parts.
HABITAT: Uncultivated places of Andalusia
PART USED: Tuber
CASTILIAN: Castaña de tierra, nuececilla
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