The nut is a perennial herb belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family. It is usually dry in winter, to re-sprout in spring. It has a huge following, sometimes so thick it looks like a baseball bat. The shoots that spent the winter throws are soft and weak and lengthen steadily for a long time. The leaves are divided into segments and, before them, the stem produces very twisted tendrils with which the plant is grabbing everything she can get, so that gradually climbs.
It is an herb native to southern Europe, most abundant in areas of rubble and around rivers and streams.
From May appear loose clusters of small yellowish green flowers, male and female together in the same plant. The male flowers are larger than women's. Interested harvest the root, which is extracted from the earth washed and cut into slices that are dried at a maximum temperature of 45 grados CelsiusC, once dry, the result provides a strong, bitter taste and an unpleasant odor.
The root contains a glucoside called brionina and a similar, but very bitter taste, called brionidina. It also contains tannic materials, fitosferina, invert sugar, resin, traces of an essential oil and saponins.
The main "virtue" of this plant is that it is highly toxic. The brionina that we mentioned before violent acts as a laxative in small doses, hence only recommended in certain pathological conditions such as chronic inflammation of the serous membranes. In local application as brionina both are very irritating and brionidina administered orally may cause gastrointestinal irritation with vomiting, diarrhea and intestinal bleeding great. Increasing the dose may be life-death by paralyzing the central nervous system. The fresh root is logically less toxic than pure glycosides, but also produces unwanted effects. Its juice in external application is so irritating that you can get to ulcerate through the skin and internal causes the same symptoms as glycosides, to a lesser intensity.
Popularly has been widely used and even in our country there is a tradition that encourages the use of this plant. The reason we are not experienced unpleasant side effects is that the root collection is performed using special techniques that ensure mitigation of their toxicity. For example, people get field root juice on it previously digging a cavity and filling it with sugar. Within 12 hours you get a syrup at a dosage of 2 teaspoons produces a laxative effect slow but steady.
As can be deduced from its toxicity and even knowing some home-style relatively free of toxicity, we believe appropriate to recommend a masterful preparation. Best if you want to try this plant is to consult a specialist doctor or pharmacist, suitably advise us about how best to manage the agency.
HABITAT: Deep soil and fresh
PART USED: Root
CASTILIAN: Anorza, alfesir
CATALAN: Nap coent
BASQUE: Asta matz
GALICIAN: Herba papeira
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