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Round-leaved wintergreen: medicinal properties

Round-leaved wintergreen (Pyrola rotundifolia)

Round-leaved wintergreen is not used in official medicine, but is popular in homeopathy and in folk medicine around the world.

It was found that the Indians of North America were the first to use wintergreen as a remedy, who prepared a healing drink from its leaves. In Russia, this plant was often brewed as tea and used to make wine.

Slavic herbalists used decoctions of the plant for various diseases of the kidneys and excretory system, for dropsy, infertility and female diseases. In China, this medicinal plant has been successfully used as a herbal antibiotic for many centuries. In addition, the essential oil of wintergreen round-leaved, due to its ability to provide sedative, warming and analgesic effects, is successfully used by Chinese medicine for the preparation of medicinal ointments for the treatment of myositis, arthritis, arthrosis and other joint diseases, as well as for sprains. Tibetan healers use wintergreen preparations for liver diseases, bone tuberculosis and various fevers.

Round-leaved wintergreen (Pyrola rotundifolia)Round-leaved wintergreen (Pyrola rotundifolia)

Modern dietary supplements and herbal teas with wintergreen have a tonic, antioxidant and restorative effect on the body. Decoctions and infusions from plant leaves are used as a diuretic, bactericidal agent for various diseases of the digestive and excretory systems, in gynecology - for inflammatory and adhesions.

European studies have shown that preparations of the round-leaved wintergreen have a pronounced bactericidal effect against putrefactive bacteria that multiply in the oral cavity. Therefore, the extract of the leaves of the wintergreen is used in dental practice for the treatment of inflammatory processes in the oral cavity and for the prevention of scurvy. Tannins in the composition of this herb help to strengthen teeth and gums, actively fight against bad breath, which is used in medical and hygienic products based on the wintergreen.

Western European doctors have also revealed the ability of the wintergreen to lower blood glucose levels, so they use the means with the wintergreen for some forms of diabetes.

For medicinal purposes, the herb of the round-leaved wintergreen is harvested during flowering. The collected grass is dried by spreading it in a layer up to 3 cm in the shade under a canopy or in rooms that are well ventilated. The shelf life of medicinal raw materials is 1 year.

The leaves of the round-leaved wintergreen are also used for food purposes. In dried form, they are brewed instead of tea, they are used to prepare tonic drinks that not only relieve fatigue well, but also have a strong antimicrobial effect.

Round-leaved wintergreen (Pyrola rotundifolia)

There are other, less common types of wintergreen. In the Central and Northern regions of the European part of Russia, there are green-flowered pear (Pyrola chlorantha) little different from round-leaved - the same dark green and leathery, glossy leaves, all and the difference in flowers, collected in a short rare brush with greenish flowers; medium wintergreen (Pyrola media), small wintergreen (Pyrola minor). The latter two are also used as medicinal plants. In the Urals, Siberia and the Far East, the red pear (Pyrola incarnata)having purple-red flowers. An inhabitant of the Arctic tundra, the large-flowered wintergreen (Pyrola grandiflora), a distinctive feature of which is a shortened raceme with 3-8 flowers and a slightly curved column. A native of the Far East, the wintergreen is reniform (Pyrola renifolia), which got its name for the fact that the outline of its leaves is very much like a bud.

Read further article Growing round-leaved wintergreen

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