The sloe is a shrub belonging to the family Rosaceae, which forms dense thickets impenetrable thanks to easy reproduction by suckers which spring spontaneously from its roots. Can reach up to 2 meters tall, the branches are thorny and small leaves are oval and insert petiolate. The fruit, the sloe-round is always more or less large, dark blue.
The blackthorn grows in dry slopes where the sun and do not need a soil rich in nutrients. In Spain it is found throughout the north, while the south is far less frequent.
The blackthorn flowers in March and April. Mainly interested in harvesting the fruit and flowers, the first collected in late summer, when ripe, and even some past. Instead, flowers must be harvested early in the spring and drying carefully.
From a therapeutic point of view the most useful part is the fruit. They are also used, though to a lesser extent the flowers, leaves and bark, although the latter can be toxic if swallowed, by having a dangerous compound. In the fruits of blackthorn are tannins, various organic acids, sugars, pectin, flavonoids, and a red pigment called pruniciamida. It has always been used as astringents, anti-diarrhea and appetite stimulants, the flowers, instead have laxative and diuretic.
The bark and leaves possess hypoglycemic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic, but we must not forget that in the cortex are potentially hazardous substances, one of which is the prussic acid.
Jams. With ripe fruit, even some past-are preparing all kinds of jams and preserves, but sweetened to counter the acidity.
Syrup. With 1 / 2 pound of sloes and as much sugar. Is boiled for 15 to 20 minutes, then strain the syrup and squeeze the waste. It is useful for diarrhea and can be taken as necessary. If the syrup is boiled longer, then obtained a compote, with the same applications.
Flower tisane. A handful of flowers of blackthorn which are blanched in a cup of boiling water, drinking a cup fasting gives a mild laxative effect.
3% decoction of bark and leaves: one teaspoon per cup, let it simmer for 5 minutes. It can take up to 2 cups a day, after meals. Can also be applied locally as an antiinflammatory: simply soak a towel in the solution and apply it in the treatment area.
Wines, spirits. In preparing the sloe hard alcohol drinks, some of them very popular in certain areas of the country. The only precaution to be taken into account in the preparation of these drinks is not to crush the whole fruit because the seeds contained could be harmful, and of course take no more than 1 or 2 scoops per day.
HABITAT: Hillsides and slopes of the country
FLOWERING: March and April
PART USED: Fruits, leaves, flowers and bark
CASTILIAN: Andrino, ciruelo andrino
CATALAN: Gargoller, aranyoner
BASQUE: Elorri baltz, aran
Important: The use of information on medicinal plants, without the minimum knowledge in dosage and descriptions can cause problems or side effects. You should always talk to a doctor, pharmacist or qualified personnel before taking herbs or medicinal plants. Take the texts and information such as single orientation for subsequent verification contrast and medical professionals. World Topic assumes no liability in connection with the material on the web.