Eleutherococcus: planting and care, cultivation in the garden, medicinal properties
Eleutherococcus plant (Eleutherococcus) is represented by thorny shrubs and trees and is part of the Araliaceae family. This genus unites approximately 30 species. In nature, such a plant can be met from southeastern Siberia to Japan, and further south to the Philippine Islands. In the western and central regions of China, the largest number of eleutherococcus species is found. The most popular among gardeners is the prickly Eleutherococcus (Eleutherococcus senticosus), which is a decorative and medicinal garden shrub.
Features of Eleutherococcus
Prickly Eleutherococcus is also called wild pepper, bloody bush or prickly freebird. In this deciduous shrub, the bark is grayish in color. Its rhizome is highly branched, located in the upper soil layer, it grows a large number of subordinate roots, their length can reach up to 30 m.The height of such a plant, which has many trunks, varies from two to five meters. On the surface of direct shoots there are many thin spikes pointing down. The composition of long-leafed palm-complex leaf plates includes 5 oval pointed leaves, they can be bare or slightly bristly on the front side, and on the seamy surface along the veins they are covered with a pile of red color, the edge of them is sharp-toothed. The composition of simple umbrella-shaped inflorescences growing on the ends of the stems includes fragrant small flowers with long pedicels: pistil flowers are painted pale yellow, and stamen flowers are light purple. The fruits of such a plant can not be eaten. They are black glossy drupes of spherical shape, reaching about 10 mm across, inside of them are 5 pale yellow stones, the shape of which is similar to a crescent. Their ripening is observed in the first half of the autumn period, they stay on branches for a long time. In nature, this species grows in cedar-deciduous forests and forms undergrowth; it can also be found in floodplain spruce forests. Eleutherococcus has been cultivated since 1862.
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Growing Eleutherococcus in the Garden
Eleutherococcus is a shade-loving plant, characterized by undemanding soil composition. It grows best on moist nutrient soil in a slight shade under a large deciduous tree. When grown in mid-latitudes for the winter, such a shrub does not need to be covered.
Experienced gardeners recommend planting such a shrub in the autumn immediately after leaf fall ends. If you wish, you can plant it in the spring, but you need to catch it before the buds on the trees swell.
Site preparation must be done in advance. To do this, dig it to a depth of 25 centimeters, while introducing manure into the soil (per 1 square meter of a plot of 5-6 kilograms). The depth of the landing pit should be 0.5 m, and in diameter it should reach 0.6 m. When planting between the bushes, a distance of 2 meters should be observed. The seedling is placed in the middle of the pit, after which it is filled with soil mixed with manure. Make sure that the root neck is not buried in the ground by more than 30 mm. When the bush is planted, the trunk should be tamped a little, and then abundant watering is carried out with a weak solution of potassium permanganate. Specialists in one area recommend immediately planting several shrubs nearby from each other, because on each of them only male or female flowers grow. In the case when shrubs are planted in autumn after the onset of steady cold weather, the surface of the trunk circle is covered with a three-centimeter layer of humus, this will protect the root system of the plant from severe frosts.The first flowering most often occurs only in the fourth year after planting in open ground.
Caring for Eleutherococcus in the Garden
This crop needs watering only when there is a long dry period. Often, to loosen the surface of the near-stem circle or to remove weed grass, the fact is that growing weeds protect the soil surface above the roots from strong heating, while they do no harm to the bush. If desired, for this purpose, near Eleutherococcus, it is possible to grow a polevonus shoot or other ground cover plant, which must be non-aggressive.
During the season, such a plant needs only one top dressing, for this they use a solution of complex mineral fertilizer (per 1 bucket of water 2 tbsp. L.). Sanitary pruning is carried out, as a rule, in the spring. To do this, cut injured, diseased and frozen stems and branches, as well as those that grow inside the bush. If desired, you can make a light forming pruning, if the appearance of the plant looks untidy.
Diseases and pests
This shrub has an incredibly high resistance to both diseases and harmful insects.
Types and varieties of Eleutherococcus with a photo and names
Eleutherococcus sitting flowered (Eleutherococcus sessiliflorus)
In addition to the prickly Eleutherococcus described above, gardeners sometimes grow and sitting-flowered Eleutherococcus. The height of this large shrub is about 300 centimeters, on its surface there are large, spiky spikes that are relatively rare. However, there are also types of eleutherococcus in which there are no thorns at all. Three-five-lobed leaf plates, their petioles in length reach about 15 centimeters. Dense umbrella-shaped inflorescences consist of small flowers of a dark brown color. The fruit is a glossy drupe black. In nature, this species can be found in Korea, the Far East and China.
Eleutherococcus Henry (Eleutherococcus henryi)
This type of gardeners is cultivated very rarely. Such a shrub is characterized by slow growth and frost resistance, in height it can reach 100-300 cm.
Eleutherococcus Simon (Eleutherococcus simonii)
This kind also in the gardens can be met very rarely. He comes from Central China. The bush reaches a height of about 5 meters, this species is not adapted for winter in mid-latitude conditions.
Properties Eleutherococcus: harm and benefit
The healing properties of Eleutherococcus
Eleutherococcus plant is also called "Siberian ginseng" the fact is that it consists of almost all those substances that are contained in the "root of life". The root of such a shrub and its foliage is distinguished by its healing properties. Harvesting of the roots is carried out in autumn or spring time. At the same time, they prepare blank sheets and dry them during the flowering period. The main active components of such a plant are glycosides, and in addition to it, it includes essential oils, gums, resins, polysaccharides and vegetable fats, which are very valuable substances.
This culture is appreciated for the fact that it contributes to increasing stamina and working capacity of the body, improving vision, lowering the amount of sugar and cholesterol in the blood, accelerating regeneration processes, restoring male strength, relieving physical and mental fatigue, normalizing metabolic processes and nervous system activity, and relieving pain during menstruation, and it also helps to reduce the risk of developing malignant tumors. Means made on the basis of eleutherococcus are recommended to be taken orally with increased irritability, exhaustion of the nervous system, asthenic syndrome, vegetative-vascular dystonia, arrhythmia, hypotension, the initial stage of diabetes mellitus, oncological diseases, menopause and painful menstruation. Still, such drugs are also used externally for baldness and oily seborrhea.
Honey from such a plant in combination with its roots has a tonic and stimulating effect. This tool helps to reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood, increase physical endurance, relieve the effects of stress, protect the body from toxins and infections, strengthen the immune system, normalize metabolic processes, and it is also used to prevent diabetes.
Preparations based on eleutherococcus are sold in the pharmacy in the form of capsules, syrup, dry extract, tablets, dragees, liquid extract (tinctures of eleutherococcus). As a rule, tablet forms (dragees, tablets and capsules) are recommended to be taken no more than four per day, while liquid preparations, depending on the disease, are taken in a course from 25 to 30 days twice or thrice a day, 15-50 drops per empty stomach half an hour before the meal.
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In alternative medicine, they also use products made on the basis of Eleutherococcus, namely: ointment, decoction of roots and tea:
- Tea. 1 tbsp. freshly boiled water is combined with 1 tsp. shredded raw materials. After this, the container must be tightly covered. The drink will be ready after 10-15 minutes. It is recommended to drink it for asthenia, colds, vitamin deficiency, and also in order to strengthen the body.
- Decoction. 1 liter of water is combined with 50 grams of chopped roots. The mixture is put on the stove and boiled over low heat for a quarter of an hour. When the mixture has cooled, it is filtered. Drink an infusion of ½ tbsp. 3 times a day with vegetative-vascular dystonia, to improve physical and mental activity, as well as to strengthen the body, weakened by a long illness.
- Wart Ointment. Pork fat, fresh shrub roots and garlic cloves (1: 1: 1) must be chopped using a meat grinder. The mixture is layered on a gauze dressing and applications are made on the wart, fixing them with a band-aid. This procedure is recommended to be done at night.
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Such a plant has one more advantage, it is well absorbed by almost all people. Very rarely, after taking an agent made on the basis of Eleutherococcus, diarrhea develops. Hypertensive patients are contraindicated.