The ontinilla is a shrub belonging to the family of Escrofulariaceas, mainly characterized by being quite toxic, as we shall see. It is perennial, slightly woody at the base, arching stems of the year and steep. Each node has a pair of opposite leaves and often two separate Brotinhos in their armpits. At the intersections of the upper leaves, just below the apex of the stem, leaving a pair of floral bouquets, flowers on the bare bottom. The fruit is an ovate capsule compressed inverted profile, ie with the widest part on top, forming a very prominent notch.
One grows in thickets and dense forests little lowland and low-lying limestone mountains.
The ontinilla blooms from mid-April onwards, ripening fruit from June. Interested to harvesting the whole plant, which should be collected just before the plant bloom, as it is at this point that increased activity has the grass.
Actually this plant should not be included in the treaties on medicinal plants as a plant is highly toxic, even when handled with proper precautions. In Aragon area under grass was used in ancient times as strongly emetic and purgative, but caused more problems than it actually solved. For this reason its use fell into oblivion, but continued to include in their handbooks on medicinal plants. In the past, almost all are trying to cure disease but to achieve any material expelled from the body. So many prospered emetics, laxatives, purgatives, and even substances that have diuretic effect. The problems started to arise when many people attending doctors of the time were heavily intoxicated by the drug administered, some even resulting in death. For this reason, many employees preparations were gradually falling into oblivion, leaving only those that were really effective or that they were safe. In the case of purging the results in most cases were disastrous, because the laxative effect almost always accompanied by severe cramping, and a great loss of fluid and salts. For this reason, broadly speaking, the use of substances-lax laxative should always be subject to medical supervision, although the substance is considered very mild.
Old ways of managing this plant has not transcended to today, but it hardly matters since it is advisable to dispense with the use of this species unless under strict medical supervision.
HABITAT: Soria, Valencia and Catalonia
PART USED: Whole plant
CASTILIAN: Hierba de los ermitaños
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