Today we are going to talk about a type of plant that has many uses and that can also be used to decorate gardens and outdoors. Its about Sonchus oleraceus. It is a perennial type plant that is native to the Middle East and Eastern Europe. In our country it can be found in almost all the territory mainly located in orchards and banks. It can also grow anywhere on a river bank and in areas close to the seashore.
In this article we are going to tell you all the characteristics and properties of the Sonchus oleracea.
It is a plant that is also known by the common name of locksmith. It is a plant that has evergreen leaves and that usually measure 50 to 80 cm tall normally. It has located the leaves divided into segments and with serrated edges. The base of the leaves has two triangular segments that hug the stem. From these stems and leaves we can see that a kind of latex characteristic of this species flows.
The flowers are yellow and are grouped in clusters of 4 to 5 flowers normally. We can find this type of plant in the Iberian Peninsula in almost the entire territory. It usually grows in areas of orchards and slopes where there is a greater amount of nitrogen in the soil. However, it is capable of growing in other parts such as the river bank and heights of up to approximately 2.000 meters of altitude. It has good resistance to salinity, so we can also see that it develops normally in areas near the seashore.
The Sonchus oleraceus it has a flowering that lasts practically the whole year. Its fruits are quite small in size and can be recognized with the naked eye by its brownish color. The skin of these fruits have numerous very fine wrinkles. Due to the multiple properties it has, it tends to have different uses, which is why the harvesting of this plant can be done in autumn. This collection is done in parts. The leaves are the first to be collected and then go on to take the root. These plants should be stored in the shade where they can dry out with little humidity. It needs a subsequent aeration so that the leaves and roots can take advantage of all its properties. To do this, we must quickly expose them to the sun.
Uses of Sonchus oleraceus
It is a plant that has various uses given its properties. We are going to see some of its main uses. It can be used to make an infusion. To do this, we must boil a little water and then add the leaves and roots of the locksmith. For optimal effects it is recommended to have a cup before each meal. You can also make a cooking with a handful of its leaves and a subsequent collation and letting the preparation cool. If it is done by cooking, we should take about three cups a day.
Another application that it has are plasters. This can be used on a poultice made from locksmith blades on a fresh wound. We can prepare a kind of juice with the roots of the Sonchus oleraceus if we grind it and cough it up correctly. This played can be a measure similar to coffee.
Although it seems that the leaves of this plant can also be eaten raw and used for salads or cooked as a vegetable. They have good properties for our health.
As we have mentioned before, in the leaves and stems we can see how a characteristic substance known as latex flows. Said latex contains phytosperin. Phytosperin is useful if applied as a plaster on the stomach and pus-infected wounds. The juice that we have mentioned before that we can make roots and leaves tails is used to treat quite strong stomach pains.
In ancient times it was quite common to see people preparing water with locks in all pharmacies. It was an infusion that was used for almost all kinds of ailments. However, from the XNUMXth century on, it began to be considered as an unhelpful preparation, which is why it was no longer used.
Properties of the Sonchus oleraceus
This plant also has laxative, diuretic, cleansing and digestive properties. They can perfectly substitute a lettuce in salads or cooking them like any other vegetable. The fact that it has these properties is why it has been used since ancient times to alleviate any type of ailment.
This species is also known in many places by the name of cerrajón. Being an annual plant that produces latex, it has the heads protected by 3 whorls. It can be confused with a species that is quite similar and that the same ecosystems thrive called s asper. These two species are differentiated mainly by toothed leaves. The latter species sometimes have lobed leaves. In the north it is widely used as fodder for livestock although previously it was used as a medicinal plant.
It can also be confused with some species such as the variety torn which It has the leaves with the terminal lobe with an approximate size of the lateral ones. Thanks to the properties that we have mentioned above, it has had a fairly widespread use as a diuretic and refreshing that serves to lower fever and stimulate milk secretion. The latex is the one that has some properties such as having a hydrating effect. This effect consists of promoting the expulsion of water from the body, which is why it can be used to eliminate fluid retention in many people.
It is a plant that today is usually raised in media that are altered and nitrified. For this reason, we have mentioned that a large part of its distribution area is in areas close to agricultural crops. It can also be found on the margins of roads and highways as well as in grasslands with a certain degree of humidity.
I hope that with this information you can learn more about the Sonchus oleracea.