Useful information

Marsh cinquefoil: medicinal properties

Marsh cinquefoil

Marsh cinquefoil is a well-known plant that has been used in Russia for a long time to treat joints, spine and many other diseases. It is believed that the sabelnik got its name because it cuts off all diseases, like a saber.

Marsh cinquefoil (Comarum palustre) occurs in the forest and forest-steppe zone practically throughout Russia. It grows along the banks of stagnant water bodies, grass and moss bogs, swampy meadows and forests.

It is a perennial plant of the Rosaceae family 30–90 cm high with woody reddish stems of an unusual curved shape, with a long, creeping, branching, woody rhizome located deep in the ground, rooting at the nodes, which gradually turns into a recumbent stem. These very woody rhizomes stretch for several meters, forming dense plexuses that can withstand the weight of an adult.

At the end of the stem, there are rather large flowers with a diameter of 2-3 cm, which are red-colored pointed five-leafed leaves, collected in corymbose inflorescences. The plant blooms in June-July.

As soon as they do not call the marsh saber in the people: decop, serebryak, spreading, cinquefoil, cinquefoil, marsh rose, fireflower, joint, etc. Sometimes it is also called "Russian ginseng". And the comparison with this plant is not accidental. After all, cinquefoil in folk medicine is used to treat many diseases.

This is facilitated by the richest set of healing substances contained in this plant. Its amazing medicinal properties are mentioned in the 17th century.

Medicinal properties of cinquefoil

Laplanders in the dark nights of the polar winter have been drinking tea from the herb of saber tree since ancient times, replenishing their strength. And rightly so, because the marsh cinquefoil belongs to mild biostimulants. In addition, its leaves and stems contain vitamin C, various trace elements, and the rhizomes contain tannins, carotene, flavonoids, and essential oil.

The indigenous people of Chukotka call it "earth tea". Yakuts, Zyryans, Nenets are convinced that cinquefoil is the best remedy for the treatment of various diseases.

It is no coincidence that, despite the rather scanty information about this plant in modern literature, people continue to look for it, and when they find it, they actively use it in search of getting rid of a variety of diseases.

Preparation of medicinal raw materials

Marsh cinquefoil

For medicinal purposes, all parts of the cinquefoil are used - and rhizomes, and stems, and flowers, and leaves. But for the treatment to be effective, it must be properly and timely procured, dried and stored. In this case, the procurement of raw materials must be carried out separately.

The cinquefoil rhizomes are usually harvested in autumn (from September to November), when the plant goes into a dormant period. They can also be prepared in early spring, when the snow melts, i.e. even before the buds appear, but at this time the harvesting period is very short. In this case, the creeping rhizomes of the cinquefoil are pulled out of the swamp by hands or special hooks.

When harvesting rhizomes (September-October), you need to be very careful. The rhizomes of the cinquefoil tend to die off over time, but they rot for a long time - for years, keeping the appearance quite corresponding to a healthy rhizome. A dead rhizome on a fracture is black or dark brown, and a living rhizome is white or slightly yellowish.

And the stems of the cinquefoil with leaves and flowers are harvested during the flowering period (June – July), preferably on the full moon, when the content of biologically active substances in them is usually the highest. It is better to harvest in dry weather, cutting off the upper part with garden shears (pruning shears) and folding it into a basket or box. It is only necessary to cut off the upper, protruding shoots, because the plant is creeping and the leaf on the ground may be submature or even yellow.

"Ural gardener" No. 45, 2017