Schisandra - fruit with five flavors
One of the most remarkable plants on earth is lemongrass. The plant owes this property its name. In the Far Eastern taiga, there are whole thickets of wood vines of Chinese magnolia vine - one of 14 species of the magnolia vine family.
Description of Schisandra
Vines encircle trees, take out their foliage on their crowns. The stalk of the vines with scaly bark, the foliage is as if openwork due to the fact that the bright green, elliptical leaves are on the edges of the papilla. Small white buds and flower petals are formed in the axils of the leaves, also white, sometimes pinkish inside the base. The female flower has a large greenish pestle, and the male flower has three sessile stamens. Both those and other flowers can be located on one plant (monoecious form) or on different (dioecious form).
Schizandra blooms in the warmest time of summer - at the end of May - beginning of June, is pollinated by insects and immediately after pollination the ovary of the pestle begins to grow and gradually stretches into an axis 5-8 cm long, and it forms 35-40 bright red berries. But the fruits do not ripen immediately, gradually, becoming first light green, then white, pink and, finally, carmine-red. The clusters persist for a long time on the vine, almost to the frost, giving it an elegant look. In the berry there is, as a rule, one - less often two seeds.
The wonderful properties of lemongrass have long been known to man. He used all parts of the plant - stems, roots, leaves, fruits. In oriental medicine, Chinese magnolia vine is second only to ginseng in value. It, like the last one, has a tonic effect on the human body: relieves physical and mental fatigue, gives vigor and strength.
As a medicine, it was described in Chinese pharmacology as early as 250 years BC under the name "w-wei tzu"Which means"five-flavored fruit", Since the fruit shell is sweet, the flesh is acidic, the seeds are bitter and tart, and when stored, medicinal drugs from the seeds acquire a salty taste.
Soviet scientists proved that lemongrass is a natural stimulant. The most active principle - schizandrin - is in the fruits, it is contained in other parts of the plant. The seeds have a lot of vitamin E. Doctors recommend dry crushed fruits of schisandra patients with gastritis, with low blood pressure, and a weakened body after serious illnesses. Schisandra has a beneficial effect on eye function.
Tincture of its fruits is prescribed for impotence, a decoction of leaves for some types of depression. Infusions of leaves and bark - an effective anti-zingotic agent. There is a method for treating patients with myopia by electrophoresis with fresh magnolia vine fruit juice. As a result, visual acuity rises by 1.5 times on average. In the old days in the East, women rubbed mucus from under the bark of lemongrass against baldness in the scalp.
It is worth recalling that lemongrass preparations are contraindicated in case of nervous agitation, insomnia, high blood pressure and cardiac disturbances. However, in all cases, you should consult your doctor. Self-medication can, with all the positive properties of lemongrass, turn out to be useless, if not harmful.
The use of lemongrass
From lemongrass berries are made jelly, jams. Fruit juice contains up to 10-12% of organic acids with a predominance of citric acid. Juice can replace citric acid deficient in confectionery. When diluting the juice with water 10 times, it does not lose either a bright red color, nor a sour refreshing taste, nor a lemon aroma. From it you can get a wonderful tonic drink.
A tonic tea with a pleasant lemon aroma is prepared from leaves of lemongrass, it has a golden yellow color, and when insisted for 4-5 hours it becomes dark yellow. Tea from lemongrass is considered the best substitute for long leaf. At home, you can dry the leaves for the winter, collecting them before leaf fall. The fruits can be dried and dried, and then, grinding in a coffee grinder, used for medicinal purposes as directed by a doctor.
Schisandra, transferred to the gardens of the European part of the country, grows well and bears fruit. He is not only in the botanical gardens, but also among many amateur gardeners.
This plant can be propagated by seeds and vegetatively: dividing the bush in the fall or root shoot.
With seed propagation, it is easiest to sow freshly picked fruits in winter on well-prepared ridges or in spring, seeds stratified for two months.
Far Eastern scientist A. A. Titlyanov proposed an effective way to prepare seeds for sowing. From autumn, seeds are stored in fruits. In January, they are washed from the pulp and kept for 4 days in replaceable running water. Then the seeds are placed in a nylon cloth and buried in a box with calcined sand. The sand is well moisturized. For a month, the seeds are kept warm at a temperature of plus 18-20 ° C.
Then a box of seeds is buried deep under the snow so that they do not freeze. In the cold, they must also be kept for a month, and then brought into a cool room with an air temperature of + 10 ° C. After a week or two, the seeds begin to crack. Then they are sown in boxes filled with a mixture of humus and sand in equal quantities.
Seeding depth 0.5 cm. Boxes should be closed with paper and watered daily. After 1-2 weeks, seedlings will appear. Lemongrass cotyledons are large, similar to shoots of cucumbers. Sprouts should be watered with water and protected from direct sunlight, once or twice watered with a weakly pink potassium permanganate solution. In the phase of three or four leaves, seedlings dive into boxes with the soil mixture according to the 5 × 5 cm pattern.
In early June, when the threat of frost is over, seedlings are planted on the site. Position it so that the feeding area is 10 × 10 cm2. It is best to grow seedlings in partial shade or to cover from direct sunlight with shields from a picket fence. For the winter they need to be covered with foliage and fir spruce branches.
Seedlings can be planted on a permanent place at the age of 2-3 years near trellises or hedges at a distance of 1.5-2 m from one plant to another. As soon as the creeper shoots appear, they must be tied up, otherwise the plants will give an abundant root shoot and will not enter fruiting. Under favorable conditions, lemongrass will begin to bear fruit in the fifth or sixth year.