2023 Author: Philip Bishop | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 07:54
Useful properties and recipes for the use of Chinese lemongrass
Botanical characteristics of Chinese magnolia vine
Schisandra chinensis is a perennial, woody, deciduous, climbing vine from the Schisandra family. Also, this plant has many popular names, such as "Chinese schizandra", "Manchurian lemongrass" and "ts-wei-tzu", which means "berry of five tastes" in Chinese.
Chinese lemongrass can reach 15 meters in height, twisting around shrubs and tree trunks. The stem of Schisandra is wrinkled, branching, 1.5–2 centimeters thick and has many longitudinal lenticels. The color of the stem depends on the age of the plant. For example, young specimens have shiny, yellowish bark, while older plants have dark brown bark.
Leaves of Schisandra chinensis are alternate, slightly fleshy and have an elliptical shape with a wedge-shaped base. The color of the leaves is dark green on the upper side, and pale on the bottom. The tops of the leaves are pointed. The petioles are pinkish-red, about 2–3 centimeters long.
The flowers of the Chinese magnolia vine are located on thin long pedicels, have a white or slightly pink color and a pleasant fragrant aroma. Flowering lasts from early May to mid June. After the end of the flowering of lemongrass, its receptacle grows in such a way that a spike-shaped raceme is formed from the flower, which consists of 20-25 juicy red fruits.
The fruits of the Chinese Schisandra are spherical berries with two shiny kidney-shaped seeds of brown, yellowish or brown color. The fruit has a specific taste, spicy, sour-salty, bitter, sometimes pungent. The smell of the berries, as well as of the leaves and stems, is strong lemon when rubbed.
Growing Chinese Schisandra
Chinese lemongrass was cultivated and used for medicinal purposes in ancient China 250 years before our era. Later, lemongrass spread throughout the Far East, where the indigenous population often used it as a means of restoring strength.
Also lemongrass grows wild in China, Japan, Korea, Sakhalin, in the Primorsky and Khabarovsk regions.
Lemongrass grows in mountainous, broad-leaved, valley and mixed forests. Lemongrass can often be found on forest edges, near bushes, near stream and river valleys. Chinese magnolia vine loves well-drained, organic-rich, acidic and slightly acidic soils. For medicinal purposes, lemongrass is grown on special plantations.
Growing lemongrass in summer cottages and in gardens is not labor-intensive, since liana is an unpretentious plant. It is recommended to plant lemongrass in partial shade, since plants grown in a sunny area do not develop well and do not bear fruit. Watering should be moderate, since lemongrass does not like stagnant water and drying out of the soil. Also lemongrass is a wonderful decoration for walls of houses, gazebos and verandas. When growing lemongrass as a hedge, you need to put strong supports, for this you can use arches, trellises or trellises. Lemongrass does not bear fruit without good support.
Collection and preparation of Chinese lemongrass
The fruits, seeds, leaves and bark of lemongrass are used as medicinal raw materials. The bark is harvested in spring, the stems - during the fruiting period. In order to obtain flavonoids, the collection of lemongrass leaves is carried out in the phase of their blooming, and the preparations for obtaining mucus from the leaves are carried out in the process of leaf fall. It is better to start collecting leaves and shoots in August, cutting off old unproductive vines. Then they should be crushed and spread out in a thin layer. It is necessary to dry the raw materials under a canopy, stirring occasionally.
Schisandra chinensis should be harvested when fully ripe. The ripening period of lemongrass fruit lasts from September and lasts until autumn frosts. It is necessary to cut the brushes with berries very carefully; it is better to use a sharp knife for this. Try not to damage the vines, as a plant without support may stop bearing fruit. It is better to use barrels, baskets or enameled dishes as containers for collected fruits. But the use of galvanized buckets will lead to their oxidation due to the juice of the berries. Fruit processing must be carried out within 24 hours after collection. Schizandra berries can be harvested in two ways.
1st method: the collected fruits of Schisandra chinensis must be dried for three days under a canopy in the shade. Then you need to sort out the berries, separating the receptacle, twigs and other impurities from them. After the berries are dried in an oven at 60 ° C. The fruits that have undergone such processing do not lose their medicinal properties for two years.
Method 2: squeeze lemongrass berries on a hydraulic press. Further, after the fermentation process, the fruits are washed on a sieve under running water. Seeds must be separated and dried on air heaters ventilated dryers. The washed fruits are dried in heat dryers, first at a temperature of 35–40 ° C, and then dried at 60–70 ° C.
Useful properties of Chinese lemongrass
All parts of Chinese Schisandra are rich in nutrients. Schizandra fruits contain about 20% organic acids: malic, citric and tartaric acids. In addition, the berries have a high content of mineral salts and vitamins C and E. Also, the fruits contain trace elements such as zinc, copper, iron, manganese, nickel, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, silver, calcium, molybdenum and titanium. Due to the large amount of tonic substances, Schisandra fruits are able to enhance excitement in the human cerebral cortex, as well as to increase the reflex activity of the central nervous system. It is the effect on the central nervous system that stimulates the cardiovascular system and stimulates breathing, providing a tonic and stimulating effect. Dried fruits contain starch, ash,fiber and water-soluble substances.
Schizandra seeds are just as useful. They are believed to contain active ingredients such as schizandrol and schizandrin. Also, the seeds are rich in fatty oils, anthocyanins, catechins, resinous and tannins. In folk medicine, the use of seeds is widespread for the treatment of tuberculosis, bronchitis, bronchial asthma, anemia, diseases of the stomach, intestines, liver and kidneys.
Schisandra chinensis leaves are rich in essential oils. Therefore, infusions on the leaves and bark of lemongrass are an effective treatment for scurvy and childhood dysentery.
The use of schisandra chinensis
Schisandra chinensis is a valuable medicinal plant and is cultivated in many countries. Both in scientific and folk medicine, Chinese Schizandra is used as a powerful tonic for overwork, exhaustion of the nervous system, decreased mental and physical performance, for the healing of trophic ulcers and long-lasting wounds. Lemongrass contributes to a longer retention of strength and energy in people engaged in heavy mental or physical labor.
In Chinese folk medicine, lemongrass has long been successfully used to treat diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, liver, kidneys, impotence, anemia and bleeding. It is also recommended to use lemongrass in small doses for women during menopause - to relieve excessive irritability and tension.
Schisandra is able to enhance visual acuity and increase the ability of the eyes to adapt in the dark. Also, the plant will help people who are engaged in mental work, as its stimulating substances help to increase attention, focus and integrity of perception.
Since the berries of Schisandra chinensis are practically inedible fresh, they are often dried, and juices, preserves and jams are prepared from them. In canning, lemongrass juice is added as a seasoning for syrups, compotes and jelly. Also, the juice is used for wine bouquet. And when pickling cucumbers, tomatoes and mushrooms, lemongrass leaves are often added.
Essential oils, which are rich in Chinese magnolia vine, are highly prized and often used in perfumery, soap making and cosmetic industries.
Also, in addition to widespread medical use, lemongrass is often grown as an ornamental plant.
Schisandra chinensis recipes
Lemongrass tincture is prepared from finely chopped fresh leaves, stems or shoots of Chinese lemongrass and 70% alcohol in a proportion of 2 tablespoons of raw materials to 6 tablespoons of alcohol. It is better to choose dishes for such a tincture from dark glass. In order for the mixture to infuse, it is necessary to keep it for 10 days in a dark place, after which the tincture is filtered and left in the same dish. It is best to store the tincture in the refrigerator. This remedy is recommended to be taken on an empty stomach before meals and 5 hours after. The dosage is purely individual and should not exceed 30 drops. the tincture is taken 2-3 times a day. Treatment with lemongrass tincture on alcohol is best done in courses of 20-25 days.
Lemongrass tincture. 40 grams of lemongrass berries need to be poured with 50% ethyl alcohol, taking into account the ratio of 1: 5. The mixture should be infused in a dark place for 10 days. Then the tincture must be filtered, and in the resulting sediment add another 20 ml of alcohol and insist also for 10 days. Next, both tinctures must be combined and mixed with an equal volume of distilled water. This tincture should be taken 2-3 times a day, 2.5 ml before meals. The recommended course of treatment is 14 days. The tincture helps with dizziness, sleep disorders, frequent headaches, depressive and asthenic syndromes.
Lemongrass seed tincture. To make it, you will need 10 grams of crushed lemongrass seeds, 20 grams of its berries and 70% alcohol. Seeds and berries are poured with 100 ml of alcohol and left to infuse in a dark glass container at room temperature for 10 days. Then the resulting tincture must be filtered. It should be consumed on an empty stomach, adding 20-30 drops to the water. It is recommended to take the remedy for anemia, general fatigue, rapid fatigability, sexual weakness, stomach diseases, colds and nervous diseases. The tincture is often used to prevent influenza. In Korean medicine, lemongrass seed tincture is used to speed up and stimulate labor: 3-4 times with an interval of one hour.
Schisandra juice is made from freshly picked, washed and pressed berries. The resulting juice must be poured into pasteurized glass jars and pasteurized for 10-15 minutes. Then the container should be hermetically closed. Such juice increases efficiency and raises vitality. You need to drink juice with tea - in the proportion of one teaspoon per mug of tea.
You can also make sweetened lemongrass juice. To do this, sugar must be added to the juice squeezed from the fruit: for one liter of juice from lemongrass berries - one kilogram of sugar. The mixture should be put on low heat and, stirring, bring until the sugar is completely dissolved. After dissolving, the juice should be heated to 90 ° C, poured into previously sterilized jars and rolled up.
Tea. To brew tea, you will need dried leaves, bark or young shoots of Chinese magnolia vine. Approximately 10-15 grams of raw materials are poured with a liter of boiling water and, without interfering, insist 3-4 minutes. Lemongrass leaves can also be added to regular tea. It is not recommended to brew tea in a thermos, this will deprive it of its aroma. Regular consumption of tea with the addition of Chinese Schisandra strengthens the immune system and increases resistance to colds.
Schisandra Seed Powder. To make it, you need to pour the lemongrass fruits with water and leave for several hours, after that, separating the pulp, get the seeds. They should be well dried in the oven, then ground into powder. Powder from seeds is used for acute and chronic hepatitis as a liver protecting agent, after prolonged illnesses and as a tonic and stimulating agent for physical and mental fatigue. Powder should be taken 0.5 grams 2 times a day before meals.
The stimulating effect of Chinese Schisandra begins 30 minutes after consumption and lasts for six hours.
Contraindications to the use of Chinese magnolia vine
Since the Chinese magnolia vine is one of the strongest natural stimulants, its use is contraindicated in arterial hypertension, cardiac disorders, epilepsy, hyperexcitability, sleep disturbances, increased intracranial pressure, overexcitation, arachnoencephalitis, arachnoiditis, chronic liver diseases and acute infectious diseases.
Also, it is necessary to refrain from using products containing lemongrass, it is necessary for pregnant women, women during lactation, people with vegetative-vascular dystonia and children under 12 years old.
To avoid insomnia, do not take lemongrass preparations in the afternoon.
Side effects of lemongrass: tachycardia, increased gastric secretion, insomnia, headache, allergic reactions and increased blood pressure. Treatment with Chinese magnolia vine should be carried out under medical supervision and only after a preliminary examination.
The author of the article: Sokolova Nina Vladimirovna | Phytotherapist
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