Habitat: In hedges, steep slopes and non dry wood borders.
Description of balckthorn
Perennial shrub of the Rose family- rosaceae- up to 2.5 m. Numerous stems of dark bark with young twigs pubescent. Leaves toothed. White flowers, generally coupled along the flowering branches. The fruit is a cherry, blueish black.
Picking-up and storing blackthorn
The flowers will be picked up in spring; the fruits, in autumn. The bark and the leaves can be gotten in anyone of the two mentioned seasons. Everything should be dried off in a shady place and kept in recipients in a dry atmosphere.
- Astringent: Very useful to stop the diarrhea. Its action is due to the influence of pectin and rutin that also exercise a relaxing effect in the stomach inflammations. (fruit jams), (Decoction of the fruits. Drink the desired quantity). Enemas are very soothing for rectum inflammations. They can be carried out with the decoction for 9 minutes of about 12 gr. of dry bark for each glass of water. .
- Laxative: An infusion carried out with the flowers during 8 minutes has an lightly laxative effect. It can be use to treat constipation.
Main curative properties of blackthorn
- Menopause: An infusion of half a spoonful of dry flowers for every glass of water during 3 minutes is useful in the dysfunctions taken place during the menopause. Troubles at this time can be either physical or psychic. In the first group we could include suffocations, throbbing, shivers, skin reddening or general disorders; in the second group low spirit, insomnia or general lack of interest.
- Depurative: The flowers, rich in rutin and quercitin, are blood depurative, being very appropriate for the treatment of the rheumatic illnesses and they also help to prevent the formation of tumours. (Consults the antitumoral powers of many of their components) they help to eliminate the excess of liquids so they are diuretic and particularly suitable in the treatments against the obesity and to calm the inflammations of the urinary tracts,being very useful in the pain of nephrocolics or gallbladder stones . (Infusion of a spoonful of flowers in a glass of water during 10 minutes)
- Skin: Also against the illnesses of the skin, as pimples, acne, or any kind of dermatosis it is useful to take a couple of daily cups with the decoction during 10 minutes of 1 couple of spoonfuls of flowers in half a liter of water.
- Pacharan : The fruits of the blackthorn constitute the base for the elaboration of pacharan , an alcoholic drink that gets ready macerating the fruits in ethylic alcohol. To this mixture anisette and sugar is added to increase fragrance and to counteract the roughness of the fruits. In the home-made preparations other vegetable elements can also be added to attain a final personal touch. Taken with moderation, it is invigorating for the stomach, although it is not very suitable to abuse from such an alcoholic preparation
- Marmalade:Its fruits are also used to make marmalades. It is necessary to add enough sugar to make it pleasant.
- Wood :Its wood is very strong and very resistant to the humidity . Traditionally it has been used by peasants for making clubs or shepherd's crooks, even for the elaboration of rakes.