The Cólquico is a perennial plant with a scaly underground bulbs from which they long and slimy purplish flowers chalices. The leaves are long, thin, lanceolate, gathered in tufts. At the heart of each group of leaves mature fruit, oval capsule containing numerous seeds inside. It is an elegant bearing plant and colorful but poisonous and which can cause many problems in inexperienced hands.
The plant is found throughout Europe and is especially abundant in the Iberian Peninsula, especially in the meadows of the Pyrenees and Mediterranean areas.
The plant flowers in late summer and autumn ripening fruit the following year during the spring. For medicinal use are collected on all the bulbs and seeds. The bulb, once collected and thoroughly cleaned, cut into slices and put to dry, even in the sun. The seeds mature in summer, when recording the capsules whole; these, once dry, release the seeds.
The most important product of this plant is the colihicina, an alkaloid found in a proportion between 0.4% and 1.2%. They also appear other alkaloids, tannins and essential oil.
Colchicine has the virtue of dilating blood vessels and can damage them so notorious, if the dose is increased, is paralyzing the central nervous system, reaching even paralyze the respiratory system, causing death. It is a plant that takes time to act, known cases of poisoning occurred up to 4 to 6 hours after ingestion of the drug.
For its power vasodilator used to treat gout. It is assumed that this broadening of the vessels removed uric acid and makes it out of their deposits. It also has a marked anti-inflammatory action on joints, so that employees always under strict medical control in the treatment of rheumatism. Finally, we think it is also analgesic and diuretic properties.
It's a very dangerous plant, so their home use is strongly discouraged. Its alkaloid, useful in modern medicine, are unwieldy and should be left to medical professionals and pharmacists.
There are few cases of poisoning in children is estimated that 1 or 2 flowers of the plant are sufficient to fatally poison a child, and more of the consequences that would be irreversible in adults.
The plant should not be used in any home-prepared. In the market there are commercial preparations that prescription can be used to treat gout and rheumatism.
HABITAT: Fields de Pyrenees
FLOWERING: Summer and autumn
PART USED: Seeds and bulbs
CASTILIAN: Colchico, mata perros
BASQUE: Azpegarr, azpelarr
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