Thorny Turn - Ancient Healer with Magic Properties
An interesting plant grows behind the fence of almost every dacha in Russia. It is quite widespread in other countries. But rarely, what kind of owner admires the thorny bush and, in extreme cases, tolerates it as a good defense against uninvited guests. This plant is called thorns or thorns, goat berries - one of the oldest plants mentioned in biblical traditions. In this publication I will tell you about the features of growing a turn on a site, about its healing properties and methods of use in medicine, about the rules for collecting and harvesting raw materials.
- Botanical description of thorns
- Useful properties of thorns
- The correct procurement of raw thorns
- The value of the chemical composition of thorns
- Propagation and planting of thorns
- Diseases and pests of thorns
Botanical description of thorns of thorns
In modern plant taxonomy blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) belongs to the family pink or rosaceae (Rosaceae). At the dawn of mankind, engaged in gathering, people noted and remembered its useful properties. Unlike other beneficial plants, the healing power of the turn is manifested in all its parts. For therapeutic purposes, use roots, branches, bark, leaves, flowers, berries. The medicinal value of the plant is recognized by official medicine. Each year, the raw materials of the turn are procured for pharmacies, despite its obvious "harm" - a very high "spiky".
Since ancient times, doctors considered where the seeds of thorns sprouted - the land is sacred.
The area of distribution of blackthorn covers significant areas. It grows throughout the European continent, including Western countries, Asia Minor, Iran, North Africa, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Crimea, the Caucasus, and the North of Siberia. Forest edges, abandoned sites, wild gardens, vacant lots, slopes of ravines and hills (up to 1200-1400 m above sea level) overgrow with thorny shrubs over time and in the spring are covered with caps of white-pink goat berries or prickly plums.
Blackthorn (the second name of the plant) refers to a group of tall shrubs up to 3.0-4.5 m in height or undersized sprawling trees no higher than 5 m. A distinctive feature is very sharp, densely covering the trunk and branches of plants, prickly thorns. The turn can grow in separate volumetric bushes with a very branched crown or group, covering an area of several tens of meters. Despite the pricklyness, goats and their "tribe" with pleasure gnaw at young leaves and branches of a bush.
Blackthorn bramble (another name for the thorny thorn) forms a powerful root system with an underground rhizome and lateral developed roots. With its deeply penetrating roots, the shrub well strengthens the slopes (note to the owners!) And prevents soil erosion. A magnificent hedge - the decoration of the landscape and protection from the penetration of hares and other "guests" into the site.
The main trunk is straight, covered with brown or dark reddish, sometimes reddish-brownish bark. With age, numerous trunks branch out many times. Blackthorn is particularly durable wood, which looks elegant in small turning and joinery. Numerous annual shoots depart from the rhizome, forming impenetrable thickets. The surface of the annual shoots is velvety due to the dense soft pubescence. The ends of the branches end with thorns.
The leaves are simple, relatively small up to 5 cm in length, petiolate, dark green with serrated-serrated edge of elongated elliptical shape.
Flowering time depends on the region and the establishment of a constantly warm period, which usually occurs in April. Flowering continues until the second half of May. The aroma of delicate pink and white flowers attracts pollinators with its delicate, pleasant smell. The peculiarity of the prickly thorn is that at first the flowers open, enveloping the bush with a white veil. Bees and bumblebees diligently process flowering plants, and only then, with the flowers withering, leaves appear.
The edible part of the fruits of the turn is up to 1.5 cm in diameter, they resemble a small plum, very tart due to the large amount of tannins. The fruit is covered with thick skin. The pulp is juicy, green. Inside is a drupe, slightly wrinkled. In appearance, ripe fruits are dark blue, with a waxy coating, giving the fruits a bluish color. The fruits do not fall and remain on the branches until next spring. They ripen in July-August, but they start harvesting only after the onset of frost.
After freezing, the fruits change their chemical composition, partially losing tannins and some organic acids, and acquire a sweet and sour taste. The fruits of the prickly thorns are characterized by high keeping quality and excellent transportability. An adult bush forms 10-14 kg of fruits, so that on the site for domestic consumption, you can have 1-2 shrubs of this perennial, remarkable for its useful properties.
Useful properties of thorns
Do I need a turn in the country - an idle question. It must be a must! All parts of the plant are medicinal, but medicinal raw materials must be prepared from it in stages, as various parts of the plant accumulate useful properties:
- flowers and leaves of thorns of thorns are effective in collections and independent use as a diuretic in cardiac and renal puffiness;
- thorns (teas, decoctions) are useful for fragility of capillaries and other vascular pathologies;
- fruits - a good diaphoretic and antibacterial agent for fevers, inflammatory and infectious lesions of the body;
- berries have a positive effect on the body with diabetes;
- the turn improves metabolism and therefore is useful for gout, as it has the ability to remove salts from the body;
- independently and in collections, leaves and fruits, as well as condensed thorn juice, are used in the treatment of dysentery.
Correct procurement of raw thorns
In early spring, in March, when pruning shrubs harvest bark the turn from healthy ones - the main trunk and adult branches. The bark is removed completely from the cut off parts, and from not cut off parts only in small sections so that the wounds inflicted can quickly heal. Trimming the “living” bark must be done very carefully so as not to damage the wood. When it is damaged, the entire branch dies. The bark is cut into separate parts 2-5 cm long, dried in the sun or in a dryer at + 50 ... + 60 ° С.
In the period of mass budding (early April) flower harvesting the turn. Semi-blossoming and blossoming (but not fading) inflorescences are torn off or cut off (not washed) and spread in a thin layer (up to 5 cm) in the shade on burlap, natural fabric, other water-absorbing material or a paper pallet. Raw materials are regularly ted so as not to mold.
After complete flowering, harvesting begins raw sheet. Only the largest, undamaged leaves are selected. Like flowers, they are placed on bedding and dried in the shade of a draft or in dryers at a temperature of + 45 ... + 50 ° С.
Young 1-2 year old turn shoots harvested in the middle of summer (June). It was then that young shoots contain the highest concentration of natural compounds that are beneficial to health. They are dried as well as leaves. Can be dried by hanging in loose small panicles in shaded places in a draft. Check regularly to ensure that there is no mold.
More stretched happens fruit picking. Start it in September. During this period, greenish fruits contain a large number of tannins and they are harvested for therapeutic purposes. With the onset of frost (early to mid-October) ripe fruits of the turn are removed. They lose part of the tannins, become softer, with a pleasant sweet and sour taste (for an amateur). The fruits are used as tea brewing or in the form of other home-made medicines for a wide range of diseases and for the preparation of canned winter products - jams, jams, pastils, candied fruits, marinades, liquors, wine, aromatization of vodka, compotes, kissels, etc.
Fresh fruits of turn can be frozen and used in winter as a product saturated with vitamins and other useful substances. Prepared berries (selected healthy, washed, air-dried) are placed in the freezer for 2-3 hours and poured into paper bags or plastic containers and stored in the freezer.
Late fall begin harvesting the roots of the turn. The roots are washed under running cold water, dried from excess surface moisture and finally dried in dryers, electric furnaces and other devices that provide a faster process.
Duration of storage of raw materials
Dry raw materials (except for roots) are stored for no more than a year in paper bags or bags made of natural fabric. Storage is suitable semi-dark room, well ventilated. Frozen fruits are best used for six months. The bark and roots are stored up to 3 years.
How to properly collect raw materials, carry out drying and prepare medicinal decoctions, teas, tinctures, ointments can be found in the articles “How to properly collect and dry medicinal plants”, “Medicinal herbs and plants - part 1 and part 2”.
The value of the chemical composition of thorns
The concentration of nutrients in the raw thorns of thorns depends on the region, but their list remains unchanged.
- tannins, which eliminate fungal and bacterial infections, accelerate the epithelization of wounds, dry weeping ulcers and wounds;
- organic acids with pronounced antioxidant properties that stimulate peristalsis of the "lazy intestine", have antiparasitic, diuretic and diaphoretic effects;
- sugar (glucose, sucrose, fructose);
- pectins, they eliminate dysbiosis, promote the adsorption of heavy metals, the destruction of pathogenic microflora;
- essential oil and other aromatic substances;
- vitamins, including "A", "C", "E", "B1", "B2", "K", "P", "PP" normalize blood formation processes;
- macro and micronutrients, including: potassium, sodium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, cobalt, iodine, manganese, chromium and others; they participate in enzymatic processes, in the normalization of cellular respiration processes.
Attention! The thorns of thorns can not be swallowed. Amygdalin glycoside, located in the bones, decomposes when the stomach and intestines work, to form hydrocyanic acid, which is a strong poison!
Vegetative parts thorns of thorns, including roots, bark, leaves, young shoots contain:
Vegetative parts have the following healthful effect on the body as part of decoctions and tinctures:
- anti-inflammatory, they provide good digestion;
Turn flowers as part of teas and decoctions have a therapeutic effect on the body, including:
- expectorant (for respiratory diseases);
- antianemic effect;
- normalizes the biochemical composition of blood.
Prepared drink is a good remedy for colds, autumn infections associated with diseases of the throat and bronchi.
- If you use prickly thorns for home treatment, be sure to consult your doctor; the thorn, although rare, is contraindicated for allergy sufferers;
- Berries can be consumed by children and pregnant women;
- Fresh berries with a "weak stomach" provoke gastrointestinal upset;
- The broth is filtered and the bones are removed; you can not store a decoction with the fruits; the bones in the decoction form poisonous components that cause poisoning;
- Fruits stain tooth enamel in a bluish tint, which lasts for several days, gradually being washed off; Enamel does not cause obvious harm, but is not aesthetically pleasing.
Propagation and planting of thorns
Where to place spiky turn on the plot?
Thorny thorn equally successfully grows in the sun, in the shade and partial shade. The soil and its type (due to the deeply penetrating root system) have practically no effect on the growth and development of the plant. The wild turn withstands frosts down to -40 ° C, reacts little to return frosts. He does not need watering and systematic top dressing. But he is an "invader", crowding out cultivated plants. Therefore, for planting a thorny thorn, it is better to take a place at the end of the garden or form a hedge, separating it from the rest of the garden, vegetable garden, berry buried up to 1 m deep with slate or other non-decaying material.
Thorny thorn refers to self-fertile (bears fruit annually) and early-fruit crops. Forms the first crop from 2-3 years to infinity. It is said about the thorns - "the thorn bush is never empty."
Shrub propagates by seed and vegetative means. At home, it is more practical to propagate it by the root shoot.
During seed propagation of thorns, bones are scarified and sown in autumn to a depth of 5-7 cm. During the winter, they undergo nostrification. In the spring, friendly shoots appear. The transplant can be carried out in the spring or autumn of next year or at 2 years of age. The most developed undergrowth is selected and planted (during hedge formation) in 1-2 rows with a distance between plants in a row of 0.8-1.0 m and between rows - up to 2 meters.
If in the country house it is planned to plant 1-3 bushes, they are planted at a distance of 1.5-2 m from each other. When planting, the root neck of the seedling should remain 3-4 cm above the soil level. Immediately after planting, the aerial part is cut to a height of 15-25 cm. This low pruning stimulates the growth and branching of the bush. In the second year of growth and development of plantings, low pruning is repeated again and at the same time all annual root shoots are removed - weak, curved, growing inward, thickening. They leave strong, well-developed, upward-growing shoots that will form the height of the bush.
Starting from 4-5 years of age, sanitary pruning is carried out annually in March, removing excess thickening shoots and thinning out thickets. Usually 4-6 main stems are left, the rest are removed under the root and for rejuvenation, 1-2 annual shoots are selected, which replace the aged non-bearing branches.
Attention for vaccine lovers! The turn is a magnificent stock; it increases winter hardiness and scion resistance to adverse environmental conditions.
Diseases and pests of thorns
This shrub is practically not sick and is not damaged by pests. Sometimes (very rarely) with a long wet spring, a crown decay with gray rot can be observed. The monilia fungus penetrates the pestle of the flower. The disease begins with the upper young shoots. Foliage after protective measures grows, but the fruits crack or rot immediately or during storage.
In northern conditions, the affected bushes can be treated with chorus, according to the recommendations indicated on the package. A waiting period of at least 30-35 days before harvesting. Chorus is the only drug that works at low (down to minus) temperatures. In cold regions, it is still better to get away from chemicals and treat the bushes with copper sulfate (not more than 1% solution) or Bordeaux liquid, as well as biofungicides Gamair, Trichopol. And according to the reviews of experienced gardeners, it is enough just to spray the diseased bushes with a weak solution of vinegar or ammonia. In my private garden, the turn was never sick.
If medicinal raw materials are to be procured from the bush, it is impossible to use chemicals to protect the shrub from diseases and pests.
In epiphytotic invasions, the aphid is a danger to the thorns. By sucking juice from young shoots and leaves, it is capable of simultaneously infecting the plant with a pathogenic virus. Given that aphids appear already in a warm period of time, chemical preparations cannot be used to protect plants.
If the aphids are few, they simply wash it off the bush with a strong pressure of water. With a sufficiently high infection, you can treat plants with biological products (Fitoverm, Aktofit), which are used to fight aphids on other fruit trees and shrubs, or prepare home solutions.
Several treatments with an ash or soap-ash solution with a break of 5-8 days, spraying with a working solution of tobacco infusion with the addition of soap, birch tar will help to quickly destroy aphids without harm to the body. For preventive purposes, late in the fall (after the leaves fall and the bushes leave for winter rest), spray thorns with 3-5% urea solution.
Dear Reader! You got acquainted with another useful shrub that is very easy to grow by caring for it. He has healing properties in the sea. The only condition for successful use in the treatment and nutrition is the observance of the terms for the collection and drying of medicinal raw materials, fruits, as well as the exclusion of chemicals from the care and protection of plants.