Knotgrass. Knotgrass herb
Specification & Spread
Knotgrass herb — herba polygoni avicularis
Knotgarss — polygonum aviculare l.
Buckwheat family — polygonaceae
Other names: knotgrass, sparrow-tongue, ninety-knot, door-weed, way-grass.
It is an annual herbaceous plant with a taproot and usually strongly branched from the base, prostrate stem.
The leaves are from broadly to linear-lanceolate form, entire, short-petiolate, small, with white sockets.
The flowers are also small, located on 1-5 in the leaf axils. The perianth is simple, white or pink, five-fold.
The fruit is a narrow black nut almost black.
It blooms from early May to late autumn.
Spreading. It is found as a ruderal and weed plant almost throughout the country. It is especially widely spread and abundant in the middle zone of the European part and in the south of Western Siberia.
Habitat. It grows on fields, kitchen gardens, along roads, paths, ditches, on pastures, waste grounds, on river sands, in settlements.
The chemical composition of knotgrass
The herb contains:
- flavonoids (0.2–1%), the main ones are avikularin and quercitrin;
- tannins (1.8-4.8%);
- ascorbic acid (up to 900 mg%);
- phenolic acids;
- carotenoids (39 mg%);
- about 1% of silicic acid compounds.
Harvesting and storage of raw materials
Harvesting. Knotgrass is harvested during flowering, in dry weather. When harvesting, the herb is cut with a knife or sickle, and when it is thick, the upper parts of plants up to 40 cm long are mowed.
Security measures. The preparation of the raw materials can be carried out annually in the same place, but at the same time 25% of well-developed plants must be left for planting.
Drying. It is dried in attics with good ventilation, under sheds or in the open air, in the shade, spread out with a thin layer of 2-3 cm. During the drying, the herb is turned 1-2 times. In case of artificial drying, the temperature should not exceed 40-50 ºС.
Storage. It is stored in a dry, well-ventilated area on shelves or scaffold poles.
External signs of raw materials
Whole raw materials
Solid or partially shredded leafy shoots up to 40 cm long.
The stems are thin, branched, cylindrical, elbow-curved.
The leaves are simple, alternate, short-petiolate, entire, different in shape - broadly or broadly elliptical, obovate, less often narrowly oblong or almost linear, obtuse or sparse, up to 3 cm long, up to 1 cm wide. At the base of the leaves there are two stipules that are fused into a socket.
The bells are silvery-white, membranous, dissected.
The flowers are located in the axils of leaves 1-5.
The perianth is simple, deeply incised to almost 2/3, pentamerous. The color of leaves and stems is green or bluish-green, the perianth in the lower part is pale green, in the upper part is white or pink.
The smell is weak. The taste is slightly astringent.
Milled raw materials
The pieces of stems, leaves and flowers of various shapes, passing through a sieve with holes of 7 mm diameter.
The colour is greyish green. The smell is weak. The taste is slightly astringent.
Properties and application
The pharmacological properties of knotgrass
An old traditional remedy, introduced into scientific medicine as a hemostatic, as well as diuretic and urinary calculi.
The knotgrass has:
- antimicrobial action due to tannins.
- increases blood coagulation rate without changing blood viscosity,
It has a tonic effect on the muscles of the uterus.
Galenic forms of plants have
- anti-inflammatory and
- antimicrobial action, protecting the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract from irritants.
Due to the presence of carotenoids, the functional state of the epithelium of the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract is improved; tannins and flavonoids reduce the permeability of the vascular walls, normalize the processes of absorption and exudation in the intestine.
Silicic acid salts promote the binding of various toxic substances of endogenous and exogenous origin in the intestine, removing them from the body.
In uric acid diathesis, it contributes to the excretion of stone-forming salts with urine.
Knotgrass infusion increases diuresis, reducing the reabsorption of sodium and chlorine, which increases the excretion of water.
Silicic acid contributes to compaction, petrification of tuberculous foci and its more rapid healing. In this case, the hemostatic properties of the knotgrass are taken into account.
Application of knotgrass
The herb of knotgrass is used as:
- diuretic and facilitating the discharge of calculi means with urolithiasis.
Infusion of the herb is used:
- with tuberculosis of the kidneys and lungs,
- with bleeding, chronic inflammatory diseases.
- Hypersensitivity to the preparation;
- increased blood clotting,
- children under 12 years.
- The presence of stones larger than 6 mm in the urinary tract.