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Useful and medicinal properties of wild bird cherry

  • Useful and medicinal properties of wild bird cherry

    Family Rosaceae - Rosaceae

    It is believed that the generic name is associated with the name of the Po River in Italy, along whose shores there were abundant thickets of bird cherry. Species definition originated from Latin - "abundant with brushes" and characterizes the inflorescence of wild cherry( long, drooping brushes).

    Botanical description. A bird cherry is a deciduous shrub or tree with a height of up to 10 m. The crone is broadly ovoid. The trunk is covered with a brown-black bark, often cracked. On young branches the bark is brown, shiny, with whitish-yellow oblong lenticels. The bark, leaves, buds and other parts of the plant when rubbed in the hand have a specific odor. Leaves are regular, pointed-elliptical, up to 15 cm long and up to 7 cm wide. Edge of leaf blade is sharply serrate. Each tooth ends in a red-brown glandular. The top surface of the leaf is matte, bluish-green, the lower one is bluish.

    Fragrant flowers develop from lateral buds on annual shoots. They are collected in long drooping multiflorous brushes. The flowers open simultaneously with the opening of the leaves. Corolla consists of 5 white petals obovate. Calyx - from 5 triangular short sepals. Stamens 15-20, pestle one with a flat stigma. Fruits - globose, black, shiny drupes, edible, astringent taste;bones ovate( or obovate), grayish with small shiny dots. Bird cherry blooms in May - June. Fruits ripen in August.

    Geographical spread. Bird cherry is common throughout the European part of the USSR( up to the northern boundary of the forest-tundra), in Siberia, Central Asia, Kazakhstan, the Caucasus( most often in the subalpine belt).In the Far East, a very close species is growing - the Asiatic birdwort - Padus asiatica Kot., Which by many authors quite reasonably combines with the wild cherry tree. It usually grows along the banks of rivers, lakes, streams and other bodies of water, in damp forest clearings and fringes, in light coniferous forests and oak forests, but does not go into the depths of the massif, as it does not like shading. In Belarus it is common. Grown in gardens and parks. A good honey plant.

    Collection and drying. Mature fruits in the hands are cut using a pruner or tear, trying not to damage the branches. Dry in ovens, ovens or dryers at a temperature of no higher than 60 ° C.It can also be dried in air, in a darkened place, ensuring good air exchange.

    The dried brushes are grinded and for separation of pedicles and twigs are sieved through a sieve.

    Medicinal raw materials. The fruits of the bird cherry - Fuctus Padi - are spherical or oblong-ovate, sometimes pointed to the apex, up to 8 mm in diameter, wrinkled, without peduncles, with a rounded white scar in place of attachment. Bone one, up to 7 mm in diameter with one seed. Its surface is cross-ribbed.

    Color black, matte, less often shiny. Sometimes dried fruits can be a white coating of sugar( which is not a defect).The smell is absent, the taste is astringent, tart, sour.

    GOST 3318-74 allows a moisture content of not more than 14%;burned or damaged by insects fruit not more than 3%;unripe fruits( reddish-brown, brown) with unseparated stems not more than 4%;other parts of the bird cherry tree( pedicels, twigs) no more than 2%;organic impurities - 1%;mineral - 0,5%.The presence of mold and rot is not allowed.

    Raw material is packed in cloth bags of net weight not more than 50 kg, which are stored in dry, well ventilated warehouses in stacks not exceeding 2.5 m in height.

    Chemical composition. Fruits contain sugars, organic acids, pectin, tannins and colorants. In the bark, leaves, flowers and seeds contains glycoside amygdalin, the cleavage of which liberates hydrocyanic acid, therefore, along with glycoside, it is always possible to establish the presence of free hydrocyanic acid. The content of amygdaline in seeds is 1.5-1.8%, bark - up to 2%.In the leaves, 150-205 mg / 100 g of vitamin C were found. The fruits are rich in tannins. Leaves and fruits contain flavonoids( naringenin, querci-merritrin, quercetin, kaempferol, cyanidin), as well as phenolcarbonic acids( ferulic, coffee, sina-piva, para-coumaric).

    Presence of trimethylamine, resins, gums, essential oil, which has the smell of bitter almonds, has also been established.

    All parts of the plant contain phytoncides, which have an active antimicrobial effect.

    Action and application. Decoctions, infusions, kissels and

    fruit drinks, prepared from cherry fruit, have astringent properties and are used as an effective countermeasure. To prepare the broth 1 tablespoon dried fruit is poured with 1 glass of boiling water, boiled for 20 minutes, then filtered through gauze. Take 1/2 cup 2-3 times a day.

    It is recommended to prepare infusions from cherry fruits with blueberries. In a vessel, pour 1 tablespoon of dried fruit of these plants, pour 1 cup of boiling water and insist 30 minutes, and then filter. You can cook infusion and in a thermos. Take in the same dosage as the broth.

    In folk medicine bird cherry use much wider. Infusion of fruits is used in the form of lotions with conjunctivitis and keratitis. With the same purpose use also infusion of flowers. Infusion of bark on vodka rubs sore spots with radiculitis and lumbago. Tea from cherry leaves is used as an expectorant. There is also information( N. G. Kovaleva) about the diaphoretic and antiplatelet effect of decoction of the cortex of young branches.