Blackthorn is quite widely found in the wild in the European part of Russia, Siberia, and the Caucasus. Its fruits have been eaten since ancient times. Blackthorn bones were found during excavations of ancient sites in the Swiss Alps, as well as in the stomach of a 5300-year-old mummy discovered in 1991 in the Ötztal Alps.
Medicinal properties of blackthorn
However, not everyone knows about the medicinal properties of blackthorn. Even the doctors of Ancient Rome used condensed fruit juice for dysentery. The elixir made from blackthorn fruits according to an old European recipe is a good fortifying and restoring the body after infectious diseases.
Flowers, bark and fruits have a fixing effect on indigestion, and also have a diuretic, mild laxative, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory effect.
Modern research has shown that all parts of the plant can serve as antimicrobial agents. In particular, fresh thorn puree has strong antibacterial activity against Salmonella, a gram-negative bacteria that causes food poisoning. This effect is explained by the presence of tannic, malic, benzoic and sorbic acids in the pulp of the fruit. These organic acids destabilize all functions of bacteria and damage their outer membrane. This leads to their mass death and reduces their negative impact on the general condition of the patient. The tannins contained in all parts of plants give not only antimicrobial, but also anti-inflammatory effect.
The thorn fruit is currently used as a fixative and anti-inflammatory agent for poisoning, intestinal upset. This property is explained by the high content of tannins in the fruits, because of which they have such a strong astringent taste. In European countries, fruits are prescribed for cystourethritis. Blackthorn fruits contain flavonoids such as quercetin, kaempferol, anthocyanins, and other phenolic compounds. It has also been found that these flavonoid compounds are present in the flowers and leaves of the plant. Flavonoids reduce inflammation, fight oxidative stress, reduce the risk of heart disease, and support the body in treating cancer.
Recipes for medicinal use of thorns
Infusion of flowers - a good remedy for indigestion in children, for diseases of the urinary tract, in particular, inflammatory processes in the kidneys and bladder. They contain sugars, essential oils, flavonoids. To prepare the infusion, 1-2 teaspoons of dry raw materials are poured with 150-200 g of boiling water, infused for 15-20 minutes and the infusion is drunk in one sitting. During the day, the procedure is repeated 1-3 more times.
As already mentioned, the fruits of blackthorn are used to quickly restore the body after infectious diseases. But in combination with elderberry flowers, the effect will be much stronger. In modern herbal medicine, the following is recommended recipe: take 5 tablespoons of dried thorns and black elderberry flowers, pour 1 liter of boiling wine, leave for 2 hours in a warm place, strain, add honey and drink 50 g every hour.
In folk medicine decoction of fruits, flowers, bark and roots used as a blood purifier. A decoction of fruits (1:10) is drunk daily with hoarseness, coughing, to improve digestion.
Infusion of flowers or tea from young leaves It is used as a diuretic and metabolism-improving agent, which has a beneficial effect on the condition of patients with diseases of the kidneys, liver and some skin diseases. It is prescribed without a strict dosage as a drink. However, it should be remembered that it is preferable to prepare the infusion in a cold way: pour 2 teaspoons of dry raw materials with a glass of boiled water and leave for 2-4 hours. But flower tea in Germany is prescribed for prostate hypertrophy.In addition, flowers are added together with sage, wormwood, rosemary leaves in the anti-obesity collection.
Decoctions of bark and roots (1:20) is given for diseases accompanied by high fever, since they have antipyretic and diaphoretic properties. The same broth, but diluted 2 times, is recommended for women with leucorrhoea, as an anti-inflammatory agent for diseases of the female genital area.
From concentrated decoction of roots make lotions for erysipelas.
Thorn in homeopathy
But that's not all! The turn was appreciated by homeopaths as well. Under its Latin name, it is prescribed by doctors for a variety of diseases. Thorn, or prickly plum (Prunus spinosa) introduced to homeopathy by Dr. Wahle. Its preparations in various dilutions are used for trigeminal neuralgia, cardiovascular diseases and diseases of the genitourinary system (cystitis, urethritis), glaucoma, angina pectoris (popularly known as angina pectoris), prostatic hypertrophy.
Benefits for both health and stomach
By the way, about the stomach. The thorn is widely used in alcoholic beverage production and winemaking. The juice is used in port counterfeiting and as an additive to roughen authentic port. In Spain, the popular Orujo liqueur is made from thorns. In France, a similar liqueur is made from young shoots in the spring called épine or épinette or troussepinette. In Italy, a liqueur called Bargnolino (or sometimes Prunella) is produced from the infusion of alcohol with fruits and sugar, as well as in France, where it is called "prunelle" (the common name for a shrub) or "veine d'épine noire". Wine made from fermented fruit pulp is produced both in the UK and in Germany and other Central European countries.
Homemade Winemaking Recipes:
- Homemade wine "Ternovoe"
- Homemade thorn wine "Classic"
- Tincture "Ternovka Narodnaya"
And the fruit juice was also used to prepare fabric dyes and even ink. Shlomo Yitzhaki, a Talmudist from the late Middle Ages, writes that juice was used as an ingredient in some ink used for manuscripts. Most likely, another ingredient was iron salts, which react perfectly, forming a black color, with the tannins of the fruit.
Growing this plant on your site is not difficult at all. You can sow seeds in the garden before winter, and plant young plants in a permanent place next fall. And it's even easier - to take shoots from a tree you especially like or buy a modern seedling. This plant requires practically no care, only pruning dry and weakened branches. Plants bear fruit almost annually and quite abundantly.