Today we are going to talk about a type of plant that has a function other than decorating our garden. It has medicinal properties and has been used in traditional medicine for a long time. Its about Heliotropium europaeus. It is known by other common names such as heliotrope, verrucaria, wart, litmus, wart grass or scorpion’s tail. These are common names that have been given throughout history. It is a herbaceous plant just like it belongs to the Boraginaceae family and can reach 30 centimeters in height.
In this article we are going to tell you about all the characteristics and medicinal properties of Heliotropium europaeus.
The medicinal use of this plant is collected in a general and abundant way in numerous books and treatises throughout history. However, it must be taken into account that this plant has a very toxic alkaloid, so it should not be used without any prior knowledge. This toxic component is called cinoglossin.. It is a substance that affects the nervous system and is capable of producing short-term paralysis. The greatest and most frequent damages tend to attack the liver if it is ingested repeatedly.
It has several small white flowers that are grouped together to form a kind of scorpion’s tail, hence its common name. Apart from being used as a common name, this form that the florets acquired led to this plant being attributed the ability to combat various negative effects produced by the bites of some animals, including the scorpion. It is true that the plasters of the Heliotropium europaeus They have some medicinal properties, among the best known a property capable of eliminating warts. But, nothing is said that they can be used to eliminate scorpion or other animal stings. Among its properties it is not thought that there is something beyond an antiseptic power.
We are talking about an erect plant that can grow up to 30 centimeters tall and quite branchy. It has grayish hairs and a rather characteristic unpleasant odor. Its most frequent habitat is legal pawn and dumps, fallows and stubble along roads and rocks. Its stems are of the tended type and are found in an ascending way. Lflowering runs from May to November.
Medicinal properties of Heliotropium europaeus
This plant was mythologized as a plant with healing properties both for its appearance and that the flower clusters have to turn to where the sun is located. Sunflowers also have this characteristic. Thanks to this faculty, the heliotrope can acquire the greatest possible insolation, but this does not mean that they attribute some of the powers that enter the world of magic and unscientific popular beliefs as it has been done throughout history. .
The area of distribution of the Heliotropium europaeus around the Iberian Peninsula it is quite wide. We can find it almost any territory including the surroundings of the Sierra del Guadarrama, in dry terrain, roadsides, farm fields and in rough environments.
Verrucaria has been known as a medicinal plant since ancient times, although today it is more difficult to find it in the wild, so its use is less widespread. And it is that this plant has active principles that can be used for medicinal purposes. Of this plant it serves in the root, flowers and the leaves.
Among its medicinal properties we see that it has the ability to febrifuge, choleretic, emmenagogue, healing and anti-inflammatory, among others. It is mainly used to treat conditions such as warts, hence its name, to stimulate bile secretion and cause menstruation at the same time as its regulation. It also helps the bites of some insects, with gout, particular inflammations and helps reduce fever.
Main uses of Heliotropium europaeus
Since this plant has some substances that are toxic to the body, it should not be consumed orally for a long time since the main organ that damages it is the liver. The dose and treatment that a person is given with this medicinal plant It should only be described by the doctor to avoid negative health effects. It is not at all convenient to self-medicate with heliotrope as if it were a natural remedy since it can damage our health, especially in children, pregnant women, lactating women and people with chronic health problems who usually consume food on their own.
Natural medicine can be a very effective weapon but it requires being constant in order to achieve positive results. Nor should it be consumed or exceeded in doses as it can cause contraindications. Taking more quantity is not enough a week before.
One of the most used recipes for verrucaria is the following:
You can take advantage of the properties of this plant by generating a plaster. This plaster is made by taking the leaves of the Heliotropium europaeus and cutting and placing its juice on the affected area for a few minutes so that it can penetrate and relieve the ailment. We can also make an infusion in which 35 grams of the plant are placed in a liter of boiling water and left covered for 6 minutes so that it can be better concentrated.
After letting it cool for a while, it is filtered and You can drink up to 3 cups a day and let 4 to 6 hours pass between each cup.
If we want to use its antiseptic and healing properties, something quite useful to heal wounds, sores and varicose ulcers, we must do the following: we will make a decoction with 50 grams of the fresh leaves for each liter of water that we will use. Let it boil for about 7 minutes and let it rest for another 30 minutes. Once it has rested, we have soaked compresses with the mixture and we will apply it to the area to be cured. It is convenient to hold the compress with a bandage that we will change a couple of times a day to when it is already too wet. In this way, we can treat some wounds, sores and ulcers.
I hope that with this information you can learn more about the Heliotropium europaeus.