Shiksha Altai is the popular name for the crowberry plant. It represents an evergreen creeping, undersized shrub from the Heather family of the crowberry genus. The name of the crowberry arose, most likely, due to the fact that its berries contain a large amount of fresh, watery juice and very little pulp. The height of the Altai shiksha almost never exceeds 20 centimeters, and the length of the shoots can reach up to 1 meter. The stem of the plant is dark in color, with brownish hairs on young shoots, densely covered with leaves. He is able to branch a lot. In places of branching, adventitious roots appear, allowing the crowberry, which grows to a considerable size, to gradually occupy large areas and at the same time receive good nutrition. An old plant may have dead areas in the center. Crowberry leaves alternate, small, conifer-like. Their petiole is short, and it is not always possible to immediately notice it. The length of the leaves is from 3 millimeters to 1 centimeter. The lifespan of a leaf is about 5 years. Altai shiksha flowers are axillary, small, having three red or bright pink petals. Flowers can be either single or collected in threes together. In European Russia, the plant blooms in April and May, and in Siberia – in May and June. The shrub is pollinated by insects. The crowberry fruit is a black berry with a bluish bloom, about half a centimeter in diameter. Her skin is tough. Outwardly, the berry is somewhat similar to blueberries. Crowberry ripens in August-September. If the berries are not picked, they will remain on the bushes until spring. Altai shiksha flowers are axillary, small, having three red or bright pink petals. Flowers can be either single or collected in threes together. In European Russia, the plant blooms in April and May, and in Siberia – in May and June. The shrub is pollinated by insects. The crowberry fruit is a black berry with a bluish bloom, about half a centimeter in diameter. Her skin is tough. Outwardly, the berry is somewhat similar to blueberries. Crowberry ripens in August-September. If the berries are not picked, they will remain on the bushes until spring. Altai shiksha flowers are axillary, small, having three red or bright pink petals. Flowers can be either single or collected in threes together. In European Russia, the plant blooms in April and May, and in Siberia – in May and June. The shrub is pollinated by insects. The crowberry fruit is a black berry with a bluish bloom, about half a centimeter in diameter. Her skin is tough. Outwardly, the berry is somewhat similar to blueberries. Crowberry ripens in August-September. If the berries are not picked, they will remain on the bushes until spring. Her skin is tough. Outwardly, the berry is somewhat similar to blueberries. Crowberry ripens in August-September. If the berries are not picked, they will remain on the bushes until spring. Her skin is tough. Outwardly, the berry is somewhat similar to blueberries. Crowberry ripens in August-September. If the berries are not picked, they will remain on the bushes until spring.
Crowberry is common throughout the Northern Hemisphere. It grows in temperate and subarctic climates. In Europe, the range of crowberry reaches Spain. In the Southern Hemisphere, the plant is found in the Chilean Andes, as well as the Falkland Islands. In Russia, Altai shiksha is widely distributed in Siberia and the Far East, as well as in Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands and Kamchatka. Usually crowberry prefers sphagnum swamps, moss-lichen tundra, and pine forests.
The chemical composition of the plant
Since Altai crowberry is used not only in folk medicine, but also as a food product (crowberry berries are edible), its chemical composition is well known. As a result of research, the following were found in the plant: rutin, triterpene saponins, quercetin, tannins, kaempferol, essential oils, coumarins, resins, benzoic acid, acetic acid, ascorbic acid, carotene, anthocyanins, sugars, wax, ursolic acid, empetrosides, alkaloids , caffeic acid and phenolcarboxylic acids. In addition, large quantities of manganese, silver, magnesium and barium are present in the crowberry.
All these substances have a versatile therapeutic effect on the human body, due to which it is possible to use Altai shiksha for various diseases. Traditional healers are familiar with the medicinal properties of the plant since ancient times.
What helps Altai shiksha
Traditional medicine has not yet recognized crowberry as a medicinal plant, although folk medicine has long confirmed the healing properties of this shrub in practice. Herbalists prescribe Altai shiksha as a tonic, immunomodulatory, sedative, mild analgesic, anticonvulsant, eye fatigue reliever, antiseptic, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, wound healing, astringent and antispasmodic. In Tibetan and Siberian folk medicine, the plant is used very widely.
With various diseases of the nervous system, such as: neurosis, depression and even schizophrenia, Altai shiksha is used as a remedy that heals the nervous system and improves the proper functioning of the brain. The plant helps to restore nerve connections and nerve nodes, as well as improve the passage of impulses along the nerve fibers. Due to this, many obsessive states and increased anxiety are removed. In patients with depression, crowberry helps to relieve depression of the nervous system, which causes apathy, tearfulness and poor general well-being of a person.
As an anticonvulsant drug, Altai shiksha is used to relieve seizures of epilepsy. In this capacity, the plant is used only as an adjunct to traditional treatment. Crowberry-based drugs cannot cope with epilepsy on their own, and are not recommended for this purpose.
With general weakness and exhaustion, Altai shiksha is used as a means to maintain strength and general strengthening of the body. This is due primarily to the presence of a large amount of ascorbic acid in the crowberry. During the recovery period after an illness, the use of plant-based preparations significantly improves the patient’s condition and accelerates the process of complete recovery.
The plant also contributes to the removal of chronic eye fatigue, which is now observed in many office workers due to the constant presence in front of the monitor screen. In addition, washing the eyes with Altai shiksha medicine helps to improve their condition with cataracts and glaucoma. In case of minor injury to the eye or eyelid, the plant is used as a disinfectant and healing agent.
As a medicine to combat diseases of the urinary system, crowberry is also excellent. It eliminates sand and fine fractions from the kidneys and ureters due to its diuretic properties; and also has a pronounced effect aimed at disinfecting and relieving inflammation and pain. Thanks to these qualities of Altai shiksha, it can be used to cure cystitis, including chronic, as well as nephritis. For men, the plant will be a good addition in the treatment of prostatitis, but only in complex therapy.
A number of diseases of the liver and gastrointestinal tract are also healed with crowberry. It relieves spasms of the muscles of the intestines and bile ducts, improves the absorption of food and removes the inflammatory process. In addition, having a detrimental effect on pathogens, preparations made on the basis of this plant help to get rid of gastric and duodenal ulcers in the initial stage.
In the treatment of poorly healing wounds and ulcers, Altai shiksha will also be very useful. It will cleanse the damaged area from purulent-necrotic masses, have a pronounced disinfecting effect and contribute to the regeneration of the skin. In addition, crowberry will also help in the treatment of boils, accelerating their maturation and cleansing.
Contraindications to the treatment of Altai shiksha
Despite all the medicinal effects of the plant, it also has some contraindications for use. Ingestion of preparations based on Altai shiksha is not allowed when there are:
- allergic reaction to the plant.
In addition, for people with severe chronic diseases, it is necessary to consult with your doctor before using crowberry. Caution should be used in children under 5 years of age.
Recipes for preparations based on Altai shiksha
Decoction for disorders in the nervous system
Decoction to prevent epileptic seizures
Medicine for diseases of the urinary system
Procurement of medicinal raw materials
Preparation of medicinal raw materials is carried out in stages. Shiksha leaves, along with flowers, are harvested during the flowering period – from May to June. The fruits are harvested ripe in August-September. Harvested berries, flowers and leaves are dried under sheds or in the attic so that direct sunlight does not fall on them. Store dried Altai shiksha in linen bags in a dark, dry, cool place for no more than 12 months
Shiksha Altai, whose medicinal properties have long been known, is an unusual shrub with blue berries. Also, the plant is referred to as crowberry, ariska, pigeon, pigeon, lyha, whisperer-grass, berry yernik, crowberry, veris, bearberry, psycho. In Latin, the name of this plant sounds like Empetrum nigrum. The shrub began to be called crowberry, given the juiciness of the berries and the small amount of pulp. In the North, berries were a real salvation from numerous diseases. Some nationalities use shiksha in the preparation of fish and dietary dishes as a condiment.
The fruits of the shrub strongly resemble the beloved blueberries. Usually harvested in late August-early September. Only ripe berries are edible and useful. From them you can cook compotes, fruit drinks, juices and even jam. The berries contain benzoic acid, so they do not deteriorate, do not turn sour and are perfectly preserved without heat treatment. Shiksha grows in a cold climate, due to which the plant has time to accumulate useful substances that help fight various ailments. Official medicine has not yet recognized the healing properties of shiksha, but herbalists in Tibet used it to treat kidney, liver, male and female diseases.
The chemical composition of the fruits of the shrub
In folk medicine, shiksha fruits and leaves are used. Grass is harvested during flowering, and berries – during ripening. Shiksha contains vitamins and many other useful substances that help strengthen the immune system. Of the herbs growing in the northern regions, shiksha has a high content of vitamin C. The composition of the fruits of the shrub helps to normalize the process of blood clotting, improves the functioning of the endocrine system, and strengthens the protective functions of the body in case of intoxication with heavy metals.
Crowberry fruits contain
- essential oils;
- acetic and caffeic acids
Crowberry berries include trace elements:
The leaves of the plant contain no less vitamin C than the fruits. The shoots are rich in alkaloids, anthocyanins and tannins. Decoctions and infusions are prepared on the basis of shoots and leaves, and the fruits are eaten with milk and fermented milk products. Shiksha berry juice can be used as a tonic and tonic. Their pulp quenches thirst well due to the low sugar content. In hot weather, it is enough to eat a small amount of berries to satisfy hunger and thirst.
Healing properties of shiksha
In order for shiksha to be beneficial, it must be properly dried and stored. Therefore, the grass is harvested and dried so that direct sunlight does not fall on it during processing. Store raw materials in a dry place for no more than 2 years. Berries can be frozen or canned. In some nationalities, the root of the plant is also used, which is also dried and stored in cloth bags. It is difficult to overestimate the beneficial properties of the plant. In particular, crowberry is used for kidney diseases, as the berries have a diuretic effect.
Shiksha sold through a pharmacy chain
Due to this effect, salts, sand are removed from the kidneys and bladder. The use of decoctions for urolithiasis is prohibited, as this can lead to the movement of stones. Shiksha grass is often used externally for washing wounds, relieving itching from skin rashes. It has astringent, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antiseptic, wound healing, sedative, anticonvulsant, antihypoxic, choleretic, hypotensive effects. From the decoction of shiksha, lotions are made on the organs of vision in order to eliminate the “dry eye” syndrome during constant work at the computer.
Thanks to the vitamins found in the berries, the locals were saved from the following conditions:
- chronic fatigue;
To strengthen the hair and cleanse the face, a decoction of shiksha leaves is useful. Herbal baths help to cope with the effects of paralysis, fatigue, and improve metabolic processes. Therapeutic baths are useful for thyrotoxicosis, cramps, pain in the legs and joints.
The use of shiksha in diseases of internal organs
Shiksha Altai is used in the treatment of a wide variety of diseases of internal organs. With proper use, crowberry can be treated:
- arterial hypertension;
- vascular diseases;
- stomach and duodenal ulcer (initial stage);
- prostatitis (in combination with drug therapy).
Infusions of crowberry help eliminate the accumulation of gases in the intestines, relieve spasms in the gallbladder, and normalize digestion. In case of eye injury, a decoction of the leaves can be used as a disinfectant. Due to the regular use of shiksha infusions, blood circulation in the brain is normalized, which helps to improve memory and increase intelligence. The use of berries replenishes the body with the necessary vitamins, thereby increasing efficiency and endurance. Decoctions of crowberry are used in the treatment of alcohol dependence.
Before you start using folk recipes for epilepsy or schizophrenia, you should consult with your doctors. Using only shiksha, it is impossible to cure these diseases completely, patients must take medications prescribed by a specialist. Decoctions of grass leaves in this case play a supporting role.
Folk recipes from shiksha
Before you start preparing a medicinal product, you need to familiarize yourself not only with the composition and medicinal properties of the herb, but also with contraindications to its use. Like any other plant, crowberry is prohibited for use by pregnant and breastfeeding women. It is not recommended to treat children under 5 years of age. Some people may have individual intolerance. Therefore, it is necessary to make a test – eat a few berries and observe the reaction. If a rash appears on the body, nausea, chills, dizziness, then this indicates an allergy to the fruit. In this case, you should not use decoctions of grass leaves, even for external use.
Raw materials for the preparation of decoction
With neurological diseases, the following recipe will help: 2 tbsp. l. dry crushed leaves of plants pour 0.5 liters of boiling water. Then place the container on the fire and boil for 7 minutes. Strain the liquid, wrap and leave for 40 minutes. It is necessary to take the infusion 5 times a day for 3 tbsp. l. For the treatment of epileptic seizures, neurosis, stress, you need to take 1 tbsp. l. raw crowberry, pour 0.5 liters of water and boil for 5-7 minutes. It is recommended to take the infusion 6 times a day, several sips until the condition improves.
For diseases of the genitourinary system, you will need to take 1 tbsp. l. dry raw materials or berries, pour 1 liter of water and cook in a water bath for 10 minutes. Strain the broth and take 1 glass in the morning on an empty stomach. The course of treatment is 2 weeks. For external use, a decoction of 5-6 tbsp is prepared. l. dry grass and 12 cups of boiling water. Boil raw materials for no more than 15 minutes over low heat, cool and wash wounds, boils until the condition improves. It is recommended to make lotions or compresses from this infusion.
To relieve the inflammatory process in the eyes, you can prepare an infusion as follows: 3 tbsp. l. dry leaves or fruits pour 1 cup boiling water and keep in a water bath for 10-15 minutes. After that, cool the broth, strain and instill 2-3 times a day, 1-2 drops in each eye. The resulting broth can be washed with the organs of vision. The course of treatment is 5-7 days. If burning, redness, tearing occurs, stop the procedure and consult a doctor.
Shiksha grass is well known in both hemispheres of the Earth, its fruits have long been eaten, and shoots with leaves, flowers and fruits are used for medicinal purposes
The indigenous inhabitants of Kamchatka, the Kuriles, the mainland Far East – Itelmens, Koryaks, Chukchis and others, cook boiled salmon, shiksha berries and seal or seal fat, a dish called selago, pusher, kylykil.
The shrub is ubiquitous, it can be found in the Scandinavian countries, throughout Europe, in Asia Minor, Japan, Mongolia, in the USA, Canada. In Russia, it grows in Altai, in the Sayan Mountains, throughout Siberia, in the Far East, the grass grows even in the tundra and polar zones.
Description of shiksha and its composition
Shiksha, also known as black crowberry, is a perennial evergreen creeping shrub from the Heather family. Grows up to 30 cm in height. The dark green leaves of the plant look like coniferous needles, the branches crawl along the ground, reaching a length of up to one meter. Outwardly, they resemble spruce paws. It blooms in April-May with small bright pink, red flowers. The fruits ripen in August, can hold out on the bush all winter. The berries are very similar to blueberries in the form of fruits and their color, the fruits taste sour, very watery.
Synonyms for the name are Siberian crowberry, Altai crowberry, ssykha, crimson, pork blueberry, crow, bearberry, and others.
Biochemical composition of the plant:
- organic saturated and unsaturated acids;
- colored vegetable glycosides (anthocyanins);
- coumarin compounds;
- terpene and triterpene substances;
- essential oils;
- mineral microelements, macroelements;
- a complex of vitamins;
- waxy substances;
- resinous components, alkaloids.
Useful properties of shiksha
Shiksha berries and leaves have many useful and medicinal properties.
- The active substances, together with the vitamin complex, improve immunity, help to cope with vitamin deficiencies and chronic fatigue.
- Essential oils, terpene compounds, coumarins alleviate, relieve headaches of a different nature, level nervous strain, mental disorders, and prolonged depression. Has an anticonvulsant effect.
- Anthocyanins have an anti-inflammatory, diuretic effect in cases of diseases of the kidneys, bladder, and urinary systems.
- Tannins, anthocyanins, organic acids have a healing, anti-inflammatory effect in case of ailments of the stomach and digestive tract, have a beneficial effect on the state of the liver, helping it get rid of toxins.
- Crowberry has wound healing, antiseptic properties in the treatment of skin diseases and wounds. Suppresses the development of putrefactive bacteria.
- Relieves eye irritation during fatigue, treats eye diseases.
Application in traditional medicine
Due to its beneficial properties, shiksha grass has found wide application in the treatment of various ailments.
- Infusion for headaches: pour half a glass of boiling water over the leaves and shoots of crowberry (2 tablespoons) for 25-30 minutes under the lid. Filter, dilute 20 ml of infusion in 100 ml of pure water. Drink three or four times a day
- To improve metabolism, reduce pressure: boil for 10 minutes a tablespoon of crushed leafy shoots of crowberry in half a liter of water. Filter. Drink 20 ml every 4 hours for two days in a row. You can repeat in a day.
- With nephritis, inflammation of the renal pelvis, to relieve swelling: bring to the point of boiling, boil 3 tbsp. spoons of finely chopped crowberry leaf in a liter of water, removed from heat. Strain after 10 minutes. Drink a glass of infusion in the morning on an empty stomach.
- Extract for a tonic, soothing bath: simmer in 6 liters of boiling water under a lid, insulated, 50 grams of dry leaf and crowberry shoots for 12 hours. Pure infusion is poured into bath water (water temperature 36-38°C). The procedure time is no longer than 40 minutes, done every other day or two for a month.
- Treatment of depressive conditions, neurosis, epilepsy: boil 3 tablespoons of dry crowberry grass in 1 liter of water for 10 minutes. Pour into a thermos for 1.5-2 hours, cool, squeeze the cake. Drink 20 ml, diluted in a glass of water, morning and evening.
- Strengthening immunity, scurvy, dysentery: it is recommended to eat the fruits of the plant (fresh, dry, frozen) every day, 150-200 grams.
- Drops for the treatment of eye diseases: simmer 1 tablespoon of raw materials in 50 ml of boiling water until completely cooled. Press the cake, filter the infusion. 2 drops of herbal infusion are dripped into each eye 6 times a day, for 4 weeks. With eye fatigue, the procedure is carried out within a week.
- Treatment of dermatitis, skin rashes, inflammation: boil 5 tbsp. tablespoons crowberry leaves in a glass of water 10 min. A gauze napkin soaked in a pure broth is applied to the affected area. If furunculosis is being treated, the cake is wrapped in a gauze napkin and applied warm to the boil.
- Strengthening hair roots, against dandruff: rinse clean hair with strained infusion of 4 tablespoons of crow’s eye in 0.5 liters of boiling water (60 minutes).
Contraindications for use
The medicinal properties of Siberian (Altai) herb shiksha are used in the treatment of many ailments and the plant has surprisingly few contraindications.
Do not recommend taking crowberry:
- During pregnancy and lactation.
- Allergies, individual intolerance.
Cultivation, collection and storage
Crowberry is often planted under cultural conditions, propagated by seeds (for a long time) and seedlings.
- Prefers acidic moist peaty soils.
- The root neck of the seedling is not deepened by more than 2 cm.
- Saplings (or rooted layers) are planted at a distance of 30-35 cm from each other.
- Water moderately. Fertilize once a season – 50 g of nitroammophoska per square meter of plantings.
- Weed until the plant grows.
Leafy branches are harvested during flowering, dried in a ventilated area, turning the layer over. Store in airtight containers for no longer than 2 years. The berries are picked by hand when ripe. Dry in the dryer or freeze.
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Dear readers, tell us in the comments if useful shiksha grows in your area? Do you use this berry in the treatment of ailments?