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Both positive and negative rumors are circulating about the Caucasian rhododendron: on the one hand, it helps lower blood pressure, heals the heart, neuralgia and many other diseases, and on the other it contains toxic substances. The answer is obvious - you need to strictly observe the dosage and follow the advice of doctors.
Botanical description of medicinal species of rhododendron
The genus Rhododendron belongs to the Heather family. There are over 600 species of this plant., which are mainly represented by evergreen and deciduous shrubs and small trees. Among them there are several medicinal species that have long been used in medicine.
This species is a low shrub or grass.reaching a height of no more than one and a half meters. The stalk is lying and quite quickly covered with dark bark.
The leaves are mostly narrow or oval, reinforced on the underside with a light brown felt layer.
The flowers are small (no more than 3 cm in diameter), gather in an inflorescence umbrella. Shades are always light - from snow-white to cream and light pink. Sometimes there are pinkish flowers with red dots in the center, which looks especially beautiful. For several centuries, Caucasian rhododendron has been used in local folk medicine as a cure for many diseases. Read more about this in the corresponding section.
This species is common in eastern Russia: in the upper reaches of the Bureya River, in the Sayan Mountains, and also everywhere in the coastal regions of the Far East: on the shores of the Sea of Okhotsk and on Sakhalin. It also lives in the Northeast of the Tibetan Plateau. It grows no more than half a meter tall. The leaves are evergreen, small in size (up to 1 cm wide, up to 2 cm long).
The plant has long been used for medicinal purposes, since the medicinal substances included in its composition provide great benefit as a tonic, stimulating the work of the heart, kidneys and brain. There is evidence that with the help of this plant headaches, a hangover syndrome and problems with potency are treated.
This species is particularly hardy. - It grows in regions with a sharp continental climate: Siberia, Buryatia, Mongolia, the Far East. It is a stunted shrub (40-60 cm in height). The leaves are evergreen, leathery, have bright colors and an attractive oval shape.
Due to the rich chemical composition, the components of rhododendron have a complex effect on the body.
They increase heart rate, treat bronchitis, reduce the number of asthma attacks, help with colds, radiculitis and various forms of neuralgia.
This species is distributed east of the Altai mountains. It got its name thanks to the name of some areas of Transbaikalia, in which the people of Daurians lived. In our country, the plant is better known under the popular name "Ledum". Interestingly, a full-scale study of the plant began only in the 1970s goals.
However, local residents have been aware of its healing properties for more than a century. It is used in the treatment of heart and vascular diseases in order to reduce pressure and optimize heart rate. It also has a bactericidal effect, due to which it is used as a wound healing, as well as in the treatment of skin diseases.
How to grow rhododendrons
Places of growth of the Caucasian rhododendron
The plant is an endemic to the Caucasus. This means that the species lives exclusively in the mountainous regions of the Caucasus. Especially often it can be found at an altitude of 1600 to 3000 meters. It grows in Russia in the North Caucasus - in all republics (Chechnya, Ingushetia, North Ossetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Dagestan and Karachay-Cherkessia).
In the South Caucasus, lives at approximately the same altitudes. Partially distributed in Turkey - along the Lazistan and Arsiyansky mountain ranges. Since the flowers of the plant have white, milky and cream shades and settle in whole colonies, during flowering, the slopes of the mountains look especially beautiful - Caucasian rhododendron creates a unique subalpine landscape.
Procurement of medicinal raw materials
Dried leaves and flowers are mainly used for medicinal purposes. They are harvested when the rhododendron blooms. Moreover, the collection is carried out from 2- and 3-year-old plants. Dry in a ventilated, darkened room (do not do this under the open sun).
For the drying process, all collected raw materials are laid out in a single layer on a clean cloth. Importantso that the room is not too humid and stuffy - constant ventilation is mandatory. Dried to full readiness (with slight compression, the flowers and leaves should break easily). Next, they are placed in a glass dish and the lid is tightly closed, since the leaves and flowers easily absorb moisture. Store for a maximum of 2 years in a dark place at a temperature not exceeding +5aboutFROM.
Andromedotoxin and other active substances of rhododendron
Caucasian rhododendron has a beneficial effect on all key organ systems due to its rich chemical composition:
- Andromedotoxin - This is a toxic substance from the class of glycosides, however, in moderate doses, it acts as a sedative, however, the dosage should be strictly monitored.
- Vitamin C, an increased concentration of which was found precisely during the flowering of rhododendron.
- Tannins, acting as anti-inflammatory and restorative.
- Essential oilsthat inhibit the growth of bacteria and viruses, as well as serving as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Important! Since some of the substances that make up the rhododendron are poisonous, the dosage should be strictly observed, as well as to refrain from using drugs based on it to those people who fall into the group with contraindications (for more details, see the relevant section).
Therapeutic and beneficial properties of the Caucasian rhododendron
Due to the beneficial effect of the active substances of rhododendron It has a healing effect on various organ systems:
- wound healing and bactericidal;
- tonic and restorative.
Used in the treatment of:
- cardiovascular disease;
- gynecological diseases;
- neuralgia, epilepsy;
- mild excitability, irritability;
- periodontal disease and stomatitis.
The healing properties of the Caucasian rhododendron
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In the Caucasus, rhododendron is used for landscaping gardens and parks. It looks good in group plantings, as borders for the design of paths and marking the natural borders of flower beds.
The use of Caucasian rhododendron in folk medicine
The plant is used in various dosage forms - like tea or decoction from dry raw materials, as well as in the form of alcoholic infusions.
Against insomnia and epilepsy
An infusion of leaves is brewed at the rate of 2-3 grams of crushed raw materials per glass of boiling water. You can insist just a few minutes, and then strain and take 2 teaspoons three times a day, regardless of the time of lunch and dinner. Keep the medicine in the refrigerator.
With tachycardia and shortness of breath
A teaspoon of shredded and a teaspoon of flowers is poured into a glass of vodka. You need to insist 2 weeks in a dark place, and then take 25 drops three times a day before each meal. The course of treatment is 2-3 weeks.
Tea for the common cold
During a cold and also to restore strength after infectious diseases, make tea from half a teaspoon of chopped leaves (pour a glass of boiling water and insist 10 minutes). A glass of non-cold milk is added to tea and the mixture is brought to a boil, then immediately turned off. You need to drink like regular tea. To taste add honey, sugar or lemon.
Infusion for hypertension
For the treatment of high blood pressure, 1 leaf is taken (20 grams of dry raw materials) and filled with a glass of boiling water. You need to brew for half an hour, and use a large spoon three times a day before each meal.
From cervical erosion
In this case, a decoction is used for daily douching: a teaspoon of raw materials per glass of boiling water; need to brew for half an hour. You can add such de quantities of dry calendula. Douche twice a day until complete recovery.
About the benefits of rhododendron honey
Honey, made on the basis of the Caucasian rhododendron flowers, has gained notoriety since ancient times, since several cases of poisoning were noticed - people raved, they had hallucinations, and even with severe overdose, even deaths were observed.
However, modern methods of obtaining honey have completely eliminated the risk of poisoning - honey from rhododendron has a characteristic beige hue, astringent taste, which differs from usual honey in that rhododendron is not so sweet. Used in the treatment of colds, bronchitis, infectious diseases.
Those who have never tried this honey are advised to monitor the dose and not consume more than 2 tablespoons per day.
Homeopathic medicines with rhododendron.
Caucasian rhododendron is used to prepare a group of homeopathic medicines. The essence of their action is based on the fact that substances that cause the disease in humans in large doses are used. But for treatment, these same substances are used in small quantities.
- diseases of the nervous system (neuralgia, epilepsy);
- feverish conditions;
- general malaise: overwork, weakness, loss of tone;
- poisoning with mercury and other heavy metals;
- diseases of the mucous membranes.
Contraindications and harm to rhododendron
The following persons should refuse treatment with any rhododendron-based drugs:
- Pregnant and lactating women at any stage.
- Suffering from low blood pressure.
- Persons with renal failure of any stages.
- Suffering from tissue necrosis.
Important! If during therapy it does not become easier, and signs of poisoning appear (headaches, weakness, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, increased salivation), treatment should be stopped immediately and the session should be continued only after the doctor’s approval.
Rhododendron Caucasian is a time-tested medicine. However, it is important to strictly observe the dosage and not start therapy without first consulting with your doctor.