The Astrantia belongs to the Umbelliferae family, which includes a large number of species, all easily distinguishable by having a characteristic umbrella-shaped inflorescence invested. Formerly, this group of plants were called aparasoladas.
It is a perennial herb, with leaves that are sustained thanks to long tails. The black and woody rhizome gives rise to a stem erect, little branched, topped with umbels of white flowers. It breeds in the grasslands of practically all the Pyrenees, liked the water and wet meadows. It grows spontaneously throughout Europe.
The plant flowers in June, maturing fruit in summer and early fall. For therapeutic use reflected mainly the rhizomes, but also interesting foliated stems. The rhizome is harvested in late summer, is thoroughly cleaned and the green parts are removed and the root hairs and thereafter allowed to dry in the shade. The stems should be collected by hand, at the height of flowering and sunny weather.
The composition of the higher Astrantia completely unknown. It is known that emits an aromatic scent, so you may have an essential oil. The rest are little studied, although the plant has been known since antiquity. Rhizome is attributed to laxative and purgative properties, depending on the dose used.
Our ancestors all their knowledge based on experimentation as the only way of discovering new cures. In the case of this plant may be found in it purgative, so quickly was included among the medicinal plants of the era, but later, or they found that their effects were not as good, or was replaced by another the many plants that nature provides us with similar effects. In any case, this plant today is virtually obsolete and not included in any compendium of medicinal plants. In addition, medical science is increasingly convinced of its task of sensitizing people to replace the use of laxatives and purgatives for increased fiber intake as the only way to combat constipation that leads to many evils today day. Indeed, the turn of the century diet is very poor in dietary fiber, which affects not only the increase in constipation but other associated diseases, including obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis and even colon cancer. Purgatives are indicated only in certain pathological situations and always under medical supervision. The abuse of those bad bears accustomed to the intestine, which leaves well alone function naturally.
Being a little-studied plant, no one knows for sure how the body can manage. Perhaps the best way to eat this plant as an infusion from the rhizome, or in powder form. In any case, there is a grass free from side effects and therefore not recommended for use at least until they learn more in depth.
HABITAT: Meadows in the Pyrenees
PART USED: Rhizome
CASTILIAN: Sanícula hembra
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