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Video: Alfredia Drooping: Cultivation And Medicinal Properties
Alfredia cernua from the Astrov family
Alfredia is the euphonious name of a plant, some kind of exotic, mysterious. When I heard it, I had associations with a splendid palm tree from the tropical islands.
Almost the same as the word "watercolor" for Shchukar's grandfather, who unknowingly interpreted him as "a beautiful girl."
Despite all my sympathy for grandfather Shchukar, I nevertheless decided to replenish my knowledge about this little-known plant. But the more he learned, the more mysteries arose.
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Start with the title. The correct botanical name for this plant is Alfredia cernua of the Astrov family. In the place of Shchukar's grandfather, I would interpret it this way: the family (Astrovye) is a surname, it is worn by many, many plants with similar characteristics; genus (Alfredia) is a patronymic, under which plants are combined within their family with narrower related characteristics; species (drooping) is the name of a given plant, which may have brothers and sisters similar to it with different names.
So why Alfredia? In the academic multivolume work "Flora of the USSR" in an article devoted to Alfredia (volume XXVIII, p. 39), it is noted that "… the genus (Alfredia) is named by a personal name." But to whom exactly it is dedicated is not given. Usually, the Latin names of plants are assigned by the scientific community in honor of famous botanists, natural scientists. And since among those with the name Alfred, apart from Alfred Russel Wallace, who simultaneously put forward the theory of changes in species by natural selection, simultaneously with Darwin, there are no others, it can be assumed that Alfredia is named in his honor.
And why drooping? At this word, the imagination draws some kind of stunted booth with drooping leaves. Nothing like this! Alfredia drooping is a powerful perennial herb 2.5-3 meters high, with a strong stem, which at the base is up to 5 cm in diameter, with long (up to 70 cm) oblong-ovoid leaves and large (up to 5 cm in diameter) floral baskets. These baskets explain everything - they look down, as if bowing their head.
Hence the name - drooping. And it's good that they are down (and where else can they look from such a height!), Otherwise we could not see all their beauty. And the beauty is in their uniqueness: the wrapper of a large head is tiled, multi-row, the marginal flowers are yellow-green, and the central ones are very thick and long (up to 2.5 cm), sticking together in one direction, resembling trickles from the shower.
Undoubtedly, it was thanks to the power and elevation of alfredia over all other herbs that she received the name of the ataman-herb among the people. The origin of another local name - plechekos - is now unlikely to be explained by anyone. Perhaps it is based on an "oblique shoulder" - the bushes branch strongly in the upper part and branches (shoulders) branch off obliquely. Or maybe (I like this version more) originates from "mow with the shoulder." When Alfredia came across when mowing in forbs, it was possible to mow it with great effort - leaning on the scythe with your shoulder. Who knows.
In a word, the plant looks not at all dull, but very cheerful. However, Alfredia inspires cheerfulness not only by her appearance. For a long time in folk medicine, its herb and roots are widely used in folk medicine as a tonic and analgesic agent, for nervous diseases, dizziness, and also in fees - for neurasthenia, schizophrenia, epilepsy, enuresis.
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Why is such a prominent plant little known? Because its habitat is very small: the mountains of Siberia (Altai, Sayany, Gornaya Shoria, Kuznetsk Alatau, Salair Ridge) and Central Asia. Only there you can find Alfredia in the taiga and subalpine zones, in sparse fir and cedar forests, in tall-grass meadows, among thickets of bushes. In all reference books and Internet encyclopedias in articles dedicated to Alfredia, they write: "The composition has not been studied." How so? Why is the plant recognized by folk medicine deprived of the attention of scientists?
The answer was found nearby. Tomsk scientists - Shilova Inessa Vladimirovna with colleagues already in our millennium conducted research on the chemical composition of the aboveground part of Alfredia. The content of the following groups of biologically active substances was found: flavonoids (quercetin, kaempferol, apigenin, etc.), phenol carboxylic acids (vanillic, caffeic, etc.), sterols, polysaccharides, amino acids (valine, lysine, treptophan, etc.), carotenoids, triterpene compounds, tannins, macro- and microelements.
It has been scientifically established that alfredia extracts exhibit antioxidant, nootropic, anxiolytic and diuretic activity. In other words, they reduce emotional stress, weaken feelings of anxiety, fear, anxiety; improve mental performance, stimulate cognitive functions, learning and memory, increase the brain's resistance to various damaging factors, incl. to extreme loads. And since it is now known that antioxidants slow down the aging process, then, undoubtedly, drugs based on Alfredia will be developed soon, and in this regard, it has a great future.
But gardeners interested in rare plants can, without waiting for the appearance of Alfredia on pharmacy shelves, now grow this wonderful plant in all respects on their plots. Moreover, this representative of the mountain flora adapted well to the conditions of the plain, which was facilitated by the research of botanists, including Valentina Pavlovna Amelchenko, who devoted a quarter of a century to the study of Alfredia in the Siberian Botanical Garden of Tomsk State University. Alfredia is successfully grown in many botanical gardens in Russia and abroad (for example, in Jena in Germany).
Growing Alfredia is easy enough. She is not demanding on the soil and wintering conditions - she does not need shelter. It only needs good illumination and sufficient soil moisture, especially in the initial period of growth. You can sow in a box in March-April (plant seedlings in June) or in the ground in May. It is better to soak the seeds for 2-3 hours before sowing, since they are large enough and they may not have enough soil moisture for swelling. Seeds are covered with 2 cm pigeon. Seedlings appear in 2-3 weeks. The distance between the plants should not be less than 50 cm. Some of the plants will bloom in the second year, the rest for 3-4 years. Flowering occurs in late July - early August, seed ripening - in a month.
As a medicinal raw material from alfredia, leaves and flower baskets are harvested in the flowering phase. They are dried in the shade, crushed and stored in paper packaging for 2-3 years. In everyday life, they are used in the form of tea: 1 teaspoon of herbs in a glass of boiling water. To everyone who is interested in this useful and beautiful plant, I will gladly send alfredia seeds. They, as well as seeds of more than 200 other rare medicinal, spicy plants, vegetables and flowers, can be ordered from the catalog. It is enough to send a marked envelope - you will receive the catalog in it for free.
My address: 634024, Tomsk, st. 5th Army, 29-33, mob. t. +7 (913) 851-81-03 - Gennady Pavlovich Anisimov. The catalog can also be obtained by e-mail - send a request to E-mail: [email protected] The catalog can be found on the website sem-ot-anis.narod.ru
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