The zaragotana is an herb belonging to family Plantaginaceae helpful. The plant has been known since antiquity, but its use as a laxative is relatively modern, as we shall see. It is a plant glandular hairy, stem simple, erect and usually leaves opposing, linear and without corners. The flowers are grouped in heads ovoid, which arise in the axils of the upper leaves. Each fruit contains a couple small black seeds and bright and with a cleft in its side.
One grows in sandy places, either cultivated or wild, throughout the Peninsula and Balearic Islands.
Psyllium flowers in spring and summer, and even earlier in some southern areas. Collection of what matters most today are the seeds. The problem is that it requires a large number of these seeds and not simply having a few plants, but must be cultivated in large quantities. It is recommended in late winter sowing. The seed planted there to cover it with little land. In the center of the peninsula crop is harvested in mid-August, so, they can obtain large amounts of seed.
Zaragotana seeds are very rich in mucilages acids. This abundance of mucilage makes these seeds a soft mechanical laxative action. This means that this mucilage, in contact with water, swelling to be passing through the digestive tract and increases the volume of the stool, stimulating bowel peristalsis, resulting in a healthy and effortless deposition . Furthermore, this mucilage drags fats and other harmful substances, so it complements its laxative action with lipid-lowering and hypoglycemic action. In short, for people who suffer from constipation, the best way to combat it is to increase the consumption of substances rich in fiber and mucilage, together with increased water consumption. The use of any laxative substance always involves damage to the body, then do not act by promoting normal bowel function, as do zaragotana seed. In any case, people who suffer from this problem of constipation should consult your doctor or pharmacist, who will advise them properly.
In topical use this plant has been used a lot for abscesses, boils, rheumatic pains, wounds, eczema and burns. In all these external applications has shown good anti-inflammatory and demulcent actions.
Maceration. Put into water one tablespoon seeds and leave to macerate for half an hour. It should be fasting with another glass of water. 3-4 days if you do not notice the effect then you have to double the dose of seed and water.
Powder. Normally zaragotana seeds are in powder form in sachets or other solid form. The usual dose is 5 to 15 gr. Per day, spread over several shots, and always with plenty of water.
HABITAT: Sandy places
FLOWERING: Spring and summer
PART USED: Seed
CASTILIAN: Psilio, zargatona
CATALAN: Sargantana, pucera vera
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