Blackthorn (it is also called teren, prickly plum) is a perennial shrub covered with thorns. However, almost all parts of this plant contain many useful substances that help fight many diseases.
Botanical features and places of growth of blackthorn
Common blackthorn is a shrub, which grows from 1.5 to 2 meters high, sometimes becomes taller and looks like a small tree. Its branches grow in horizontal planes, so the bush is quite wide. A characteristic feature of the branches is that almost all of them end with a powerful spike. Its leaves are bright green, egg-shaped.
The flowers are small, white hues. The fruits of blackthorn are beautiful blue, while they are also small and contain 1 seed. Sour taste with astringent effect.
Basically, wild blackthorn chooses warm places with plenty of sunlight - the Caucasus, the temperate climate zone of Europe, Turkey. In Russia it is found in the middle lane of the European part.
Composition and useful properties of the turn
Despite its unpleasant appearance, associated with thorns and associations with a crown of thorns, blackthorn contains in its composition many useful substances that have a beneficial effect on the body as a whole and well help in the treatment of certain diseases:
- Vitamin C, which, as you know, serves as the basis of the body's immune system.
- Vitamin E, which slows down the aging process, improves blood flow and strengthens the walls of blood vessels.
- Vegetable oils (oleic, palmitic, etc.), which ensure the removal of excess cholesterol from the body and thereby prevent many diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
- Fiber and pectin, which have a good effect on digestive processes.
- Carotenes that help normalize vision.
Due to such a rich composition blackthorn is used as a complex effect:
- mild laxative;
- wound healing.
The use of the healing properties of thorns in folk medicine
The turn has a good effect on the digestion processes, the work of the kidneys and the genitourinary system, and also has a general strengthening effect on the whole body. At the same time, almost all parts of the plant are harvested for medicinal purposes:
- the roots.
Alcohol tinctures are prepared from prepared raw materials, water decoctions are made, and dried berries are also consumed.
Alcohol tinctures from thorns are of great benefit to the body, since alcohol translates healing substances into solution well. They are prepared on the basis of strong alcohol - mainly vodka.
The easiest option is to mix the thorns with vodka in a ratio of 2: 1 and add sugar to taste (usually 1 half cup of sugar is added to half a liter of vodka). In this case, the berries must be picked up already frozen or held in the freezer for 2-3 days before starting cooking. Berries are washed, frayed (the stone is previously removed) and poured with vodka. The solution is infused in a dark place for at least 3 weeks. Then sugar is added to it to taste. This tincture can be taken 1-2 tablespoons before each meal as an additional tool in the treatment of viral diseases of the throat. It can also be used as a prophylactic that enhances immunity.
Sugar is best added to the infusion gradually in small portions - so the combination of sour and sweet components in the tincture will become more balanced. To give a piquant shade of taste, you can add dried cloves, cinnamon, ginger or a pinch of nutmeg to your choice.
You can prepare tincture and their roots of the bush. For this, finely chopped dry roots of the plant (in the amount of 3 tablespoons) are taken and poured with two glasses of vodka. The solution is infused for 2-3 weeks in a dark place. The tincture is used as an adjuvant for the treatment of thyroid diseases (the course of treatment is designed for 3 weeks based on a single daily intake of the medicine per teaspoon).
Recipes based on decoctions from various parts of the bush are also used.
- You can take dried leaves and flowers of thorns (1 tablespoon each), pour them with a glass of hot (but not boiling) water and brew no more than half an hour. Then strain and take as a laxative for prolonged constipation, 1 tablespoon before each meal. The decoction also helps relieve symptoms of nausea and heaviness in the stomach.
- Recipes are also used without the use of boiling water. So, you can cut fresh flowers of thorns, add 1 glass of cold water to them and stand the mixture for a day. It is used for 1-2 tablespoons before each meal for various kidney diseases. It also helps to recover from furunculosis.
- As an additional means of recovery after colds, an aqueous tincture from the greenery of the plant is perfect. 45-50 g of dried leaves are taken, poured with a glass of boiling water and insisted all night in a warm, dark place. Drinks half a glass before each meal.
When to collect turn
Dried and Fresh Berries
Blackthorn berries can be consumed fresh or dried for the winter. To do this, they need to be placed in 1 layer under open sunlight and held for one month.
In winter, such fruits will be a valuable source of vitamin C, E, flavonoids. They have a good effect on the state of immunity, stimulate digestion and promote rejuvenation of the skin.
Therefore, it is recommended to consume dried berries a small handful per day about half an hour before a meal.
Some harm and contraindications
The plant has no special side effects. However, some people should refrain from treatment with it, or at least take in smaller doses:
- persons with individual intolerance to the individual components of the plant;
- those suffering from acute gastritis and gastric ulcer should refrain from eating berries due to their strong acidity;
- use with caution in pregnant women.
Important! It must be remembered that the seeds of berries cannot be consumed because they contain toxic hydrocyanic acid, which can cause heaviness in the stomach and colic. It is for this reason that before working with berries, all bones from them must be removed.
Growing a thorn bush in the country
Despite the fact that the turn mainly prefers warm places, subject to certain rules, you can grow it on a summer cottage. It can be grown as cuttings and seeds. For rapid plant growth, the following conditions must be taken into account:
- Seedlings should be planted at a minimum distance of 2-3 meters from each other, since the bush grows quite widely.
- The turn is unpretentious to the quality of the soil and may well grow on sandy, clay soils.
- The main condition for its successful growth is good illumination, therefore it is necessary to plant a bush in open places with a sufficient amount of sunlight.
- Seedlings are best placed in the ground in spring. At the same time, dig a hole (half a meter deep) and prepare it at least 5 days before disembarkation. Fertilizers (ash, humus, nitrogen fertilizing) are introduced there, the soil is well moistened with water.
- Further measures for the care of a grown plant will be simple. It is necessary to fertilize the soil annually, loosen it, and also cut off the semi-dry and dead shoots. At the same time, in order to stimulate the growth of the plant in height, it is possible to cut off all large side branches.
In the country, blackthorn bushes planted nearby give the effect of a solid green wall and serve as a beautiful decoration of the natural borders of the site. Also, thanks to its bright greenery, the turn will be an excellent background for garden flowers, which can be planted nearby.
Important! If you need to create a monolithic green hedge, it is better to reduce the distance between seedlings to one and a half meters.
A bit about stinging
The blackthorn's sister is the so-called thorns, which, unlike it, forms large fruits that look really like plums.
In this case, stubborn is characterized by increased frost resistance and unpretentiousness to other conditions. Thanks to this, the bush is cultivated both in Europe and in the middle zone of Russia. Usually its large fruits are not eaten raw - they are pickled, canned, compotes, tinctures and even preserves are prepared from them. In terms of taste, it is in no way inferior to the fruits of its older brother.
Thorn jam recipe for winter
Thus, in spite of its pricklyness, blackthorn is a very interesting shrub that combines both medicinal properties and design potential.