The wintergreen is a herbaceous plant belonging to the family of piroláceas, small group of no more than 35 species, little used from the medical point of view. This plant throws five or six leaves almost round, similar to the pear, to which it owes its name. These sheets are available a few long stems, filled with some small pointed leaves and adorned at the top by a spike-shaped flowers. The whole plant is bitter. There are many varieties of wintergreen, with properties very similar and easily confused.
It is bred in mountain forests, across the Pyrenees and the central mountains.
The flowering time of the wintergreen varies greatly depending on the variety concerned. If we refer to the Spanish species, flowering in June and July, depending on the altitude where you are. Collection, for therapeutic purposes only interested in the leaves, which should start with care and drying quickly in the sun or dryer, at temperatures not too high.
In all varieties of wintergreen are the glycoside arbutin as part of the composition of the leaves. This compound was accompanied by other less interesting, as metilarbutina the ericolina and gallic acid. Moreover also is a bitter substance called Urson.
It is a diuretic and astringent plant that is normally used for diarrhea. Used externally it appears to have vulnerary properties, and are widely used in some European countries. In Spain there is an herb that enjoys great popularity. In fact, the ancient botanical species not included in their treaties. It really began to be used as antidiarrhoeal in the sixteenth century, but by then there were other remedies most popular and best known. Furthermore, the wintergreen is a difficult plant cultivation in gardens and crops. It appears that their development requires the presence of a fungus in their roots, that provide certain nutrients to the plant without which it could survive.
Since this is a difficult grass growing employment declined much, being relegated to cleaning wounds, sores and little else.
Infusion. Prepared from 5 g. Leaves per 100 g. Of boiling water. This infusion can take up to five cups a day, breaking them up after meals. In some Central European countries prepare various teas made from many herbs, one of which is this.
HABITAT: In pine
FLOWERING: June and July
PART USED: Sheets
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