|Evergreen | Photo: H. Zell|
Vinca minor L.
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In light forests in southern and central Europe, forming evergreen often widespread, dark green quilts from the early spring short shots with a single, white flowers rises. The leaves are leathery, glossy and evergreen. Often there are plants around castles, a relic of past gardens, even in our country can sometimes come across feral populations of the plant.
In some areas intertwine to bridal or funeral wreaths of evergreen. There will also be hanging evergreen in the house to protect it against lightning. In the Middle Ages included the plant in many love drinks. Although the medical use of evergreen is several hundred years old. So for example, ordained emergence in 1539 of Agricola against sore throat, 1554 by Matthiolus the nosebleeds, long considered one of the also as active agents against lung disease.
Of evergreen produced a tonic that can be used for anorexia. In more recent studies have demonstrated the emergence of an alkaloid, Vincamine, acting vasodilators and antihypertensive.
Presence: Indigenous in Central and Southern Europe. where it grows in woods and thickets and hedges. Prefers partial shade. In our country only cultivated and sometimes wild.
Appearance: A 15-20 cm tall perennial shrub half. The tribes will be over 60 cm long and can take root at the nodes. Leaves opposite on short stems, lansettformade - elliptic, glossy, evergreen. Flowers blue-violet (April-May), solitary on long stems from leaf folds. Feed a funnel-shaped pipe with five tabs. Crown flat, widespread, with 5 tabs twisted in bud. Petals at the base tubular united. Stamens fifth Pin thickened at the top. Fruit develops very rarely.
Using plant parts: Leaves, collected in the spring.
Ingredients: Alkaloids Vincamine. The organic acids protokatekin, coffee, ursolsyra. Tanning preparations. Flavonoids.
Medical effects: Antihypertensives, vasodilators, particularly in the brain. Anti-diabetic effect. Antispasmodic, astringent, wound-healing.
Uses: The leaves are now used mainly for extraction of Vincamine found in many products on the continent.