Perennial plant with its rootstock which reappears every year, generating a square section shaft and slightly reddish color, which is run by a series of longitudinal grooves. Both the stem and leaves are covered with glandular hairs that actually turn out to be a transparent formations, sharp, breaking at the slightest contact with any foreign body, digging into it and generates an intense itching. This itching is due to the action of formic acid compound found in large quantities and in contact with a living triggers an allergic reaction.
As indicated by its Latin name, male flowers are yellow with four anthers that produce pollen to fertilize the female flowers that are in another plant. These flowers appear from June.
It is a ruderal plant type, so their location and collection is pretty easy, always taking precautions to avoid annoying itching, of course. To bring the collection to a successful conclusion will be before flowering, and drying should be done as quickly as possible.
The root contains tannins that give it astringent properties, so it is used in cases of diarrhea and peptic ulcers. The leaves, like the fresh plant are used as tonics and mineralized by their high content of minerals iron, calcium, silicon, sulfur, potassium and manganese. It also contains chlorophyll and organic acids, which owes its marked diuretic effect, why it is used very commonly in oliguria, urolithiasis, nephritis, edema, obesity and even (externally) in cases of rheumatism and gout.
It was noted that some action has anti-diabetic, so it also can be used in certain tables of diabetes.
Finally, it contains provitamin A and mucilage.
Decoction of leaves. Three grams of shredded leaves are added to 250 milliliters of boiling water, letting it boil for three minutes, then hot-yet-leave standing for twenty minutes. The resulting liquid can be administered up to three times a day.
Decoction of roots. Forty grams are added to a liter of water, letting it boil for ten minutes. Fluid obtained can drink a cup three times a day.
Fresh plant juice. Is extracted and used to wet compresses applied to the skin, in order to soothe rheumatism. Also used as a hemostatic, then cut the flow of blood in cases of epistaxis.
HABITAT: Central and Eastern Europe
PART USED: Aerial parts, fruit and root
CATALAN: Ortiga major
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