A bit of history
Ancient authors do not mention the use of burnet. The first mentions in Europe date back to the era of Charles V, when it was used for forcing worms from horses. Since the Middle Ages, its hemostatic and astringent properties have been mentioned. The earliest information in printed sources about the use of burnet in medicine dates back to 1550. The original source reports on its use as a hemostatic agent for bloody diarrhea and excessively heavy periods. Actually, the literal translation of its Latin name speaks of the ability to stop blood. It is mentioned in the writings of Lonicerus and Matiolus, who also note mainly hemostatic properties and recommend, among other things, for "female diseases". Outwardly, Mattiolus recommends using the decoction as a wound healing agent for fistulas and cancer.
N. Kulpeper, who considered the action of plants under an astrological sauce, believed that this plant, with prolonged use, strengthens the body and soul. Preparations from rhizomes were considered a cooling, astringent and wound-healing agent, useful in inflammatory and pulmonary diseases (including tuberculosis), gastric bleeding. They were also used to maintain pregnancy.
In Russia, especially in Siberia, the beneficial properties of the burnet were well known. Here is what Dr. I.A. Dvigubsky: “The root, which has an astringent taste, is used by the common people for diarrhea. Flowers deliver honey to bees, and the root can be used to make leather. The root and herb are used by veterinarians in animal diseases. "
Botanical description and habitat
Burnet medicinal (Sanguisorbaofficinalis) - perennial herb from the Rosaceae family, with a thick, woody rhizome and thin stiff stems up to 2 m high. Basal leaves on long petioles, unpaired, with oblong serrated leaves. The flowers are small, dark red or dark purple, collected in oval or oval-cylindrical inflorescences 1-3 cm long. For the dark purple heads towering above the grass stand, the plant is popularly called the redhead, blackhead, pine cone. Blossoms in June-August; bears fruit in August-September.
This plant is found almost throughout European Russia, in the Caucasus and the Far East. But it is especially abundant in the forest-steppe zone of Siberia, where it forms real burned meadows.
In the Far East, this species is replaced by a close and also approved for medical use - burnet glandular(Sanguisorba grandulosa), which is characterized by reddish-hairy, partly glandular pubescence. This species is often considered as a type of medicinal burnet..
In the areas of distribution of the medicinal burnet, there are externally similar other species of the same genus - small-flowered burnet (Sanguisorbaparviflora) and alpine burnet (Sanguisorbaalpina), which are well distinguished by the greenish color of the flowers, and the first and drooping inflorescences. And fine-leaved burnet(Sanguisorba tenuifolia) with an elongated inflorescence and flowers lighter than those of the medicinal burnet.
Burnetus officinalis is included in both the Russian and the European Pharmacopoeia. As a medicinal raw material, rhizomes with roots are used, which are harvested during the fruiting period, in August-September, when the plant is clearly visible and easy to find in the meadow. When grown on site, they can be harvested later. Washed and slightly dried rhizomes are cut into pieces 20 cm long, and then dried in a room with good ventilation or in dryers - at a temperature of + 50 + 60 ° C.
It is not recommended to dry on iron trays and sieves: the raw material turns black and loses its healing properties. Roots are considered dry if they do not bend but break. Raw materials retain medicinal properties for 5 years.
In folk medicine, aerial mass is also used, which is collected at the very beginning of flowering.
The rhizomes and roots of Burnetus officinalis contain tannins (12-20%), presented as hydrolyzed (witch hazel) and condensed (halocatechin), starch (about 30%), saponins, dyes, essential oil (1.8%). The aboveground mass contains flavonoids (glycosides of kaempferol and quercetin, in particular rutoside, as well as cyanidin glycosides), tannins, triterpene glycosides, betulin, ursolic and tormentic acids, chlorogenic acid. Ascorbic acid is found in the leaves.
Application in official and traditional medicine
Currently, a decoction and liquid extract of burnet is used in scientific medicine as an astringent and hemostatic agent for diarrhea, hemoptysis, uterine, gastric and intestinal bleeding. Burnet preparations are effective in treating enteritis and enterocolitis. Alcohol extracts and water infusions of rhizomes with roots kill the causative agents of dysentery, typhoid and paratyphoid fever. Studies have shown that decoction of the roots kills typhoid and paratyphoid bacteria within 15 minutes, and the causative agents of dysentery in 5 minutes. With giardiasis cholecystitis, a 10% decoction is taken orally, 1 tablespoon 3-4 times a day on an empty stomach. They also have an anti-inflammatory effect, so they are used as a gargle for gingivitis and stomatitis.
In folk medicine, a decoction of rhizomes with roots and an infusion of herbs are used for various bleeding, excessive menstruation, rush of blood to the head with excitement, most often with hypertension, inflammation of the veins, convulsions and hemoptysis in tuberculosis patients, with colitis and, especially, with dysentery.
In European countries, the decoction is prescribed mainly for gum diseases and as a wound healing agent. Extracts are widely used in European countries as additives in cosmetics.
The aboveground mass in the form of a decoction is used internally for bleeding (gastric, intestinal, uterine, hemorrhoidal), with dysentery, catarrh of the gastrointestinal tract. Outwardly concentrated broth is applied to poorly healing and weeping wounds. With bleeding gums, the broth is taken into the mouth and kept for 3-5 minutes several times a day, and for nosebleeds, turundas moistened with a concentrated broth are inserted into the nose.
For cooking decoction 1 tbsp. pour a spoonful of crushed rhizomes with a glass of boiling water, boil for 30 minutes, cool, filter. Take 1 tbsp. spoon 5-6 times a day, before meals with indigestion, intestinal infection, internal bleeding (but in this case only after consulting a doctor!). This broth is also suitable for external use: lotions, washings and wet compresses for skin inflammations. A decoction of burnet, like a decoction of other plants with a high content of tannins, is effective for douching with erosions of the cervix and Trichomonas colpitis. In these cases, you can use alcoholic tincture, diluted before use in warm water at the rate of 1 tbsp. spoon in a glass of boiled water.
Sitting baths with a decoction of hemorrhoids are effective for hemorrhoids during an exacerbation. The liquid extract is prepared with 70% alcohol and is prescribed 30-50 drops 3-4 times a day.
Homemade tincture can be prepared from 1 part dry roots and 5 parts 40% alcohol. Insist for 7 days, filter and appoint 1 teaspoon 3 times a day for the diseases listed above.
Infusion of herbs prepared in a cold way at the rate of 3 teaspoons of dry herbs for 2 cups of cooled boiled water, insist for 8 hours, filter, take 1/4 cup 4 times a day before meals. Drink in sips.But if for some reason you prefer dosage forms with heat treatment, then pour the raw materials in the same proportions with boiling water, heat for 10-15 minutes in a boiling water bath, strain and take immediately after preparation.
In homeopathy, aerial parts of the plant freshly collected during the flowering period are used. Used for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, venous system and diseases of the female genital area.
Traditional Chinese medicine uses the root for bloody diarrhea, hemorrhoidal bleeding, uterine bleeding, burns, boils, and skin lesions.
Burnet has practically no contraindications. The only unpleasant consequence of its excessive use may be constipation.
Burnet was used not only for medicinal purposes, but also for food, for livestock feed, as a tanning and melliferous plant. Before, in the years of famine, in some regions of Russia, the soaked and boiled rhizomes of the burnet were used for food. Soaking is necessary to remove astringent tannins. Young fresh leaves, rich in ascorbic acid, are suitable for salads (see Potato Salad with Burnet), and dried leaves are suitable for aromatic tea and soups. Only they should be harvested before flowering.
Other types of burnet are also used in traditional medicine as astringents. Thin-leaved Burnet (Sanguisorba tenuifolia Fisch. et Link.) in Eastern Transbaikalia is used as a hemostatic agent. Seed alcohol extract small-flowered burnet (Sanguisorba parviflora) has antioxidant properties.
Growing on the site
Increasingly, European landscape designers use this plant for decoration. Therefore, on the site it can be considered as a dual-use plant - both decorative and medicinal.
You can grow plants from seeds or bring rhizomes from the meadow. When sowing seeds, it is necessary to sow them slightly unripe before winter. For germination, they need stratification. Small plants should be planted next fall at a distance of 50-60 cm from each other in a permanent place. The place can be chosen in partial shade and well-moisturized, since the burnet is a plant in humid places. But it is better to prepare the soil loose and fertile, after adding compost. This is necessary so that the roots have the opportunity to grow freely. In the future, it will be easier to dig them and the harvest will be larger.
Maintenance is extremely simple - weeding and loosening. The plant is practically not affected by pests and diseases. Therefore, growing it is a pleasure. Perhaps the most difficult problem that can arise are rhizomatous and root-sprouting weeds, which are difficult to remove. Later, when digging up the roots for raw materials, small roots with renewal buds can be planted in a new place. Thus, there will always be its own planting material.
The plant can be planted in partial shade by the fence, can be placed in a mixborder. But it should be remembered that even in the driest and most unfavorable years, the burnet cannot be below one and a half meters.