Caucasian rhododendron: medicinal properties, contraindications, photos
Rhododendron has a huge number of titles. This is an alpine rose and alpine tea, that is, a plant that is habitual to grow in the most difficult conditions, in the foothills and in the mountains. Under natural conditions, it forms undergrowth and dense thickets. Used as a landscape gardening culture. Today, many gardeners are interested in which plants have medicinal properties in order to grow them on their plots. Caucasian rhododendron is a unique flower that will decorate your flowerbed and at the same time will provide enough raw materials for making decoctions and tinctures.
For summer residents of central Russia, this is not a typical decoration of garden flower beds, so it’s worthwhile to talk about it in more detail. The Caucasian rhododendron is a rather large shrub, 60-120 cm high, with dark bark and creeping branches.The leaves are very showy, shaped like an ellipse, dense, thick and leathery.
The plant blooms in the first half of summer, when most of the pets in your garden are just waiting for their turn to dissolve the buds, and the spring tulips and roses have already bloomed. And every year the Caucasian rhododendron pleases with its appearance. The flowers are collected in 5-10 pieces, inflorescence - an umbrella. Each of them resembles a bell, whose diameter can reach 2-5 cm. The color varies from white to pink and yellow.
Most often, for medicinal purposes, stalks, leaves and corolla flowers are harvested, and the plants of the first year of life are not used. Caucasian rhododendron is a storehouse of all kinds of useful substances. Essential oils and tannins, acids and minerals (aluminum, lead, barium, silver and copper) and a number of compounds make it possible to attribute the plant to one of the most useful in the world.
But in fairness it should be noted that in the composition there is also a toxic substance. No wonder the second name of the plant - the flower of Andromeda. It is the andromedo-toxin found in its leaves and beautiful corolla. But despite this, the plant has been widely used to treat various ailments for many centuries.
You can buy seedlings in specialized stores. The second option is to grow a young plant from seed. But for the bush to live on your site for many years, you need to know what conditions the Caucasian rhododendron prefers. Planting and care have their own characteristics. It is a shrub with its own “character”, it grows slowly, but the wait is worth it. An adult plant can bloom for several decades in a row.
For normal development requires acidic, humus-rich soil. Mandatory requirements: that the earth was saturated with peat and nutrients, as well as moderately wet. Even if the site is not located in a valley, and the groundwater is deep, the ground must be drained. Without this, the bush will wither. The root system is not well developed, so the ground around it needs to be loosened, but not dug up.
If you have appeared on the site one flowering shrub, then you can plant a whole flowerbed. Plants reproduce by layering. For this, the lower branch is added near the mother plant. When it takes root, it can be cut off. Now you have a young plant.Wild species can be planted with seeds. To do this, they need to be sown in the soil in early spring.
Caucasian rhododendron, the photo of which you see in the article, is a capricious and whimsical plant. In any case, this is what the garden conditions do. Growing it is not so easy, given that it is extremely thermophilic and does not tolerate even a cold wind. Excessive moisture is detrimental, so it is recommended to plant a bush in a large vase that can be removed under a canopy. By the way, it is desirable to water this plant only with rain water. The tap contains lime and chlorine, which can destroy your green pet.
Preparation of raw materials
The first year the bush does not usually bloom, but in the second year it is already possible to begin harvesting the leaves. To do this, they are collected in the morning and evening hours and spread a thin layer to dry. Be sure to in the shade so that direct sunlight does not fall on the raw material. The perfect place would be the attic. Do not forget to mix them often so that the leaves dry out evenly. After that, pour the resulting raw material into a fabric bag.
There are practically no areas of medicine in which the Caucasian rhododendron would not be used. Medicinal properties of the plant allow us to consider it the best natural doctor.Cardiologists are well aware of this plant and recommend it to their patients. Drugs based on rhododendron improve heart function and reduce venous pressure, have a diuretic effect, which makes it possible to treat patients with kidney diseases.
But that is not all. Doctors confirm that the infusion of this plant can have a bactericidal and anti-inflammatory, analgesic effect, and also has tannic properties.
As you can see, the plant can qualitatively change the state of health, so that it is widely used in medicine. But do not rush to take it as a panacea for all diseases. Before use, you must consult with your doctor and ask him if you can use the Caucasian rhododendron. Medicinal properties and contraindications should be agreed upon if you have a chronic illness.
The most widely used infusions and decoctions. They are used in cardiovascular diseases, especially in severe deficiency. For gout and rheumatism, as well as diseases of the joints, it is recommended to take baths with infusion of leaves.Tincture of the stems is considered a valuable raw material for heart disease and edema, dropsy and migraines, headaches.
Rhododendron is widely used for colitis and stomach diseases. In this case, a decoction or tincture can be applied. Dentists often prescribe tincture with bleeding gums and periodontal disease.
The Caucasian Rhododendron, despite the presence of a toxic substance in the composition, is allowed to receive almost all groups of patients. There are contraindications, but not so many. It is not recommended to use drugs based on this plant during pregnancy. During lactation, it is also necessary to cancel the intake, since there is no reliable data on whether it passes into breast milk. Nephrologists strongly discourage the use of the plant for treating the kidneys without a thorough examination. Individual allergic reactions are also a reason for immediate cancellation.
The easiest way to cook a decoction. To do this, take 2 g of dry leaves and pour them with a glass of boiling water. Let it brew for 10-25 minutes, then strain. Take 1 tablespoon 3 times a day.To prepare the tincture, you will need 200 ml of vodka and 20 g of crushed leaves. Mix everything in a glass bottle and put in a dark place for two weeks. After that, strain and take 20 drops 3 times a day. The duration of admission is determined individually.
Instead of conclusion
Now you can easily recognize this plant if you see a photo of the Caucasian rhododendron. The healing properties of this shrub are just wonderful. They can be studied for a very long time. Almost every doctor can say that a given plant can be successfully used in its practice. But we do not call to use infusions and decoctions without a doctor's prescription, because there are cases of individual intolerance. In addition, the treatment of each patient includes various drugs with which herbal medicine may not be combined. Therefore, be sure to consult with your doctor.
In any case, the original rhododendron bushes with flowers, bells will be a wonderful decoration of your garden. Young seedlings are very capricious, but if you manage to keep them throughout the first year, then they will require much less power.