Lakonos (Phytolacca) is a perennial plant from the Lakonosovye family, which includes about 30 species. In our climatic latitudes, the most common American Lakonos or Phytolacca. Certain types of perennial flowering plants are also found in North America, Europe and Asia.

In natural conditions, the flower is a tall thicket of spreading stems and wide leaves, bears fruit in cobs, which are formed on the tops of the shoots. Due to its ability to survive even under unfavorable circumstances, its noble decorative structure and medicinal properties, the lakonos stands out in the garden area and in the park area.

Lakonos: description of the plant

The stems of the young lakonos grow rapidly in length and tend to branch out. The height of the bushes, as a rule, reaches several meters. The rhizome looks like a rod with a thickened base. The surface of the root layers is covered with a light, settling skin. Bushes start branching from the very bottom. The color of the shoots is dark green, sometimes red. The petiolate massive leaf blades are located in opposite order. The foliage is ovoid, less often lanceolate. The plates are leathery to the touch. Their length is often 40 cm.

All summer and the first month of autumn, on the tops of the shoots and shoots, large inflorescences bloom, about 10-30 cm in size. The brushes are directed upwards and are formed from bisexual buds. The inflorescences are white or pink in color. The rim length is approximately 5 mm.

At the end of the season, juicy purple berry clusters ripen, which are distinguished by a ribbed structure. Each berry contains a kidney-shaped seed that is covered with black skin. When the sun's rays touch the bunch of berries, the fruits shine and shimmer.

Be careful! Lakonos is considered a poisonous plant. Its fruits and other parts, when ingested or in contact with the skin, can cause intoxication of the body and provoke the occurrence of seizures. It is extremely important to care for the cultivated species of pikeperchief with protective gloves. The flower should be planted away from places where children or animals often run. Ripe fruits are less toxic than green berries, but they are also not edible.

Unpretentious plants for the garden Lakonos or Fitolakka. Garden World site

Growing lakonos

Lakonos is grown by seed. Seeds are scattered on the soil surface before winter and covered with a thin layer of earth. When, with the onset of spring, the seedlings show their heads, they thin out the crops. The development and growth of young plants is quite active at first, but the flowering of the culture can only be achieved after a couple of years. Abundant budding is expected in matured biennial and three-year-old varieties of lakonos.

After two years of life, the flower is transplanted in one place. Since the tap rhizome goes deep into the soil, it is recommended to keep a clod of earth when transplanting the lakonos.

Planting and caring for a lakonos

Planting and caring for a lakonos is within the power of even a novice gardener. A semi-shaded area is selected for the plant, where there are no drafts and a coolness is felt even in the sultry heat. In summer, during the midday sun, the foliage suffers from high temperatures and can get burned, and, conversely, in the dark hidden corners of the garden, the bushes will be less branched and tight. The optimal place for growing lakonos is considered to be an area where the sun's rays are shown early in the morning and at sunset

Before planting the lakonos, the soil is thoroughly loosened and enriched with humus. For the normal development and care of the lakonos, a soil with a neutral or slightly acidic environment is suitable. Since the basal layers are able to grow in different directions, it is difficult to get rid of the perennial overgrowth. This property must be taken into account when choosing the location of the culture, take into account the preferences of a number of neighboring flowers and herbs.

Removal of weeds around the lakonos is required only for biennial and 3-year-old specimens. Subsequently, the bushes increase in volume and inhibit the growth of any weed vegetation.

Phytolacca prefers a humid environment, so the roots need abundant and regular watering. Drought periods worsen the condition of the perennial and lead to wilting of greenery. It is important that water seeps through the soil, but does not collect on the surface. The lush tall bushes of the lakonos are periodically fed. In September, the site is fertilized with mineral complexes, and in winter, nutrients will come from a layer of deciduous rotted mulch, which also feeds the roots. At the peak of flowering, the lakonos are re-fertilized with mineral fertilizers.

Before the arrival of cold weather, all vegetation towering above the ground must be pruned. The soil around the main shoot is sprinkled with peat, spruce branches or foliage. The thickness of the mulch should be about 10 cm. The crop can withstand temperatures as low as -15 ° C.

The medicinal properties of the lakonos

The lakonos plant is prized for its medicinal properties. The tissues of roots, shoots, leaves contain many biological components used for medical purposes, in particular in the direction of homeopathy. The main substances include alkaloids, which are used as medications for skin diseases. In addition, saponins were found in leaf blades and underground layers. Berries and seeds are rich in ascorbic acid, PP and B vitamins.

Medicines produced with lakonos additives have a lot of useful properties. They are taken for kidney disease and sciatica. These drugs lower blood pressure levels. Decoctions and tinctures on alcohol from phytolacca cause an anthelmintic, laxative, diuretic and expectorant effect. Hot herbal compresses are applied to the skin rashes. In addition, alcoholic tinctures help relieve pain and inflammation in arthritis.

Internal use of medicinal tinctures is also allowed. They are used in the treatment of otitis media, laryngitis and tonsillitis. A positive result is observed after a short time, if you drink 5-10 drops of this tincture every day.

Doctors warn that, as mentioned earlier, perennial and preparations based on it are poisonous in case of overdose. The body's reaction to departure is intestinal upset, cramps, headache, shortness of breath and heart rhythm problems. You can perform any resuscitation measures if you were able to consult with a specialist.

Application of berries

The properties of the lakonos have found their application in another area, far from medicine. We are talking about the use of phytolacca as a natural dye for woolen and other types of fabrics. Translated from ancient Greek, grass means "varnish" or "paint".

When canning vegetables and berries, a small amount of lakonose berries will not do much harm. They will give a unique tart taste to homemade products and a pink color. For the same purpose, berries are added to wine. Due to heat treatment, parts of the plant lose their toxic properties. In some countries, local residents have adapted to use boiled shoots and leaves for food. Flowering brushes have expressive melliferous qualities. The honey collected by bees is considered healthy and tasty. It helps to strengthen the immune system and cure colds.

Lakonos in landscape design

The wide, branched stems of the lakonos, strewn with large leaf blades, cannot be overlooked in the garden. This herbaceous perennial stands out from the rest of the vegetation, ennobles the territory and is able to make an excellent company with other gardeners. Lakonos bushes can be placed both separately along the perimeter of the site, and next to paths or gazebos.

American lakonos - a dangerous medicinal plant

The American lakonos, the photo of which is located below, is a large herbaceous plant (grows up to three meters in height), which is often found on abandoned plantations, near fences, along roads, in bushes and many other weedy places. Its homeland is North America, from where it was brought to the territory of Europe after the development of the mainland. Previously, the herb was even grown as an ornamental one. In the southern Russian regions, the plant has run wild, so it grows here now arbitrarily.

Lakonos American in most cases has several smooth, juicy, thick stems. Most often they are branched at the top and are reddish in color. The plant has many rhizomes. The leaves are arranged on short petioles, tapering at the base and pointed at the top. As for the flowers, they are small and united in dense brushes. At first, their color is white, but over time it turns to red. The flowering time falls on the period from June to September. The American lakonos plant begins to bear fruit in August. Its fruits are juicy, shiny berries that turn black when ripe. They can be used to color wines, but they cannot be used in large doses, as this leads to serious poisoning.

Despite this, young shoots, leaves and roots of the plant are eaten both raw and boiled. They are used to prepare soups, salads and other dishes. At the same time, we must not forget about an important nuance - they are eaten in very limited quantities. In Asia and America, there are plant varieties that are cultivated as vegetables, but in our country they can only be found in greenhouses.

All parts of a plant like American Lakonos have an emetic and laxative effect. Previously, the intense dark red juice was used in the food industry as a colorant. In the eighteenth century, as noted earlier, in European states, it was added to wines to give their color the desired shade. Lakonos juice was also widely used for confectionery. However, as soon as the plant was proven to be harmful to human health, the product was discontinued for cooking.

Now in some European countries, American lakonos is allowed to be used for medical purposes. The fruits and roots of the plant are used in preparations that have an antihelminthic, laxative or emetic effect, and also help to improve metabolism and cure skin diseases. In folk medicine, tinctures are made on the rhizome of the American lakonos. Harvesting of roots for her is done in the autumn. They are dug up and washed with cold water. Then a break should be made, the color of the inner part on which should be yellowish-white. Otherwise, the use of the root is prohibited. Further, the drug is infused, and it can be used for rheumatism, sore throat, laryngitis and other diseases.

In no case should we forget that an overdose of drugs that include American Lakonos leads to headaches, vomiting, convulsions, paralysis of the nerve centers and can make breathing difficult. In the worst case, there is a stop of the heart and breathing, in other words, death.

Features of the lakonos plant

Phytolacca is a poisonous plant containing alkaloids of unknown structure, with completely unexplored properties. It is necessary to use lakonos preparations with great care.

Phytolacca contains biologically active compounds, most of which are used in folk and traditional medicine:

  • polysaccharides of lakonos rhizomes - affect the metabolism at the cell level, enhance immunity, the ability to adapt to the environment
  • underground steroids inhibit the growth of pathogenic microfungi
  • phytolaccine - an alkaloid isolated from rhizomes, soothes the nervous system
  • the saponins of the aerial part of the plant exhibit anti-amebic activity.

In addition, phytolacca also contains enzymes, organic acids, vitamins C, PP, B1, and the seeds contain potassium.

The roots of the lakonos are harvested as a medicinal raw material, which has the following properties:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • laxative
  • wound healing.

Juicy berries of the plant are used in winemaking to add color to wine. Eating a lot of berries can cause seizures, paralysis, and death.

Care is simple

A semi-shaded garden area is suitable for a plant.

Phytolacca takes root well on almost any soil, does not require special care and rarely gets sick.

With the arrival of the first frost, the aerial part must be completely cut off.

For the winter, I sprinkle dry leaves on its roots. Can be mulched with a thick layer of peat.

Lakonos in design

This plant will look very harmoniously growing along the fence, as well as next to the delphinium. In my garden, lakonos is adjacent to tall phloxes.

For your information: expert comment

There are over 40 varieties of lakonos. The author, unfortunately, did not indicate which one she is growing. I can assume that this is the most common (due to its unpretentiousness) in the middle lane American lakonos.

It is really used for treatment: in many countries the plant is listed in the "State Pharmacopoeia" as a medicinal one. However, it should be remembered that it is poisonous and treatment should only be carried out under the supervision of a physician.

It is used in the treatment of sciatica, rheumatoid arthritis, diseases of the kidneys, heart and blood vessels (including hypertension). Locally - for skin diseases of an inflammatory nature, lichen, boils, hemorrhoids.

But the Laconic American is not suitable for eating. To do this, use Edible laconos (you can eat young shoots, leaves), but this lakonos grows in the middle lane only in greenhouses.

At the same time, the ripe berries of the Lakonos-American, despite the warnings, are still used by the people even in our Smolensk region for making jams and liqueurs.

Once I brought to the pulpit a gorgeous lakonos branch, hung with large bunches of berries, and put it in a vase. While I went to the reception to answer the phone, the students ate the berries! But nothing, everything worked out. Experience shows that the berries are not very poisonous and it is permissible to use them in small doses (the author just uses a little).

The root of the lakonos is especially poisonous, it is used to make tinctures ONLY for external use (arthrosis, gout, articular rheumatism, etc.).

© Author: Anna SCHERBO. Photo by Valentina BONDAR

Lakonos - gardening

This strong herbaceous, ornamental perennial with a woody stem, often reaching three meters in height, has become a familiar inhabitant of our gardens.

Of almost 30 types of culture, the most widespread in our country is the Lakonos (or American phytolacca), a native of the eastern regions of the United States and Bermuda. People call it oily grass, Jewish ivy, lentil berries.

Lakonos loves partial shade and does not tolerate heat at all. For the rest, it is necessary an unpretentious plant that can grow on any fertile soil.

American phytolacca is propagated by dividing rhizomes in spring or by freshly harvested seeds, which are sown in October, seeding them to a depth of about 2 cm. Crops are mulched with peat to protect them from freezing.

You can sow seeds in early March in pots with a peat mixture.Before sowing, the grains are soaked for 24 hours, and after that they are kept for swelling, wrapped in wet gauze for three to five days. The grown seedlings are dived and planted in a permanent place in the second half of May. The distance between individual specimens should be about a meter, because in the future, the lakonos grows very much, forming a strong bush.

A bucket of humus and a glass of wood ash are introduced into the planting pit. In the first year of life, plants need frequent watering and loosening of the soil. Once every ten days, it is recommended to feed with a solution of chicken manure (1 in 20) or mullein (1 in 10).

At an early date of sowing, the lakonos blooms in the first year with white flowers, collected in dense erect candles. By autumn, the plant appears dark, as if varnished, dark purple or purple juicy berries, very appetizing in appearance. However, the pretty appearance of the fruit is deceiving, since they, like other parts of the plant, are poisonous.

In autumn, the aboveground part of the plants is cut off, and the roots are covered with straw or peat.

In folk medicine, laconos is used as a diuretic, laxative, emetic and antihelminthic agent, as well as for kidney disease, sciatica, headache.

Tincture made from roots in 40% alcohol is used for rubbing for joint diseases, osteochondrosis, polyarthritis, radiculitis.

A decoction from all parts of the plant has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system and has an anti-sclerotic effect. However, you need to be very careful when using drugs from the lakonos.

The berries are considered to be softer in action than the root and less potent. Previously, they were used externally for skin diseases and rheumatism. The juice was used to smear ulcers and tumors.

Fans of exotic plants argue that the phytoncides of the lakonos scare away the moth, sawflies and other pests. Lakonos planted in the garden further reduces the incidence of fruit trees. So, when the phytolacca is adjacent to the apple tree, the latter is less sick with scab.

Lakonos: application in traditional medicine

Well, at the end of the conversation about the beneficial properties of the lakonos, you should report several recipes of traditional medicine, which, we are sure, will be useful to you.

Infusion of lakonos for the treatment of joints

You will need:
• Chopped lakonos leaves - 2 tablespoons,
• Water - 1 glass.

Cooking method
1. Fill the crushed leaves of the lakonos with warm boiled water.
2. Close the lid tightly.
3. Insist in a dark place for two weeks.

With the prepared tincture, rub the disturbing joints and back. You can make compresses on the basis of this tincture.

Lakonos tincture for otitis media, laryngitis and sore throat

• Lakonos rhizomes - 10 grams,
• Alcohol (90%) - 100 mm.

Cooking method
1. Fill the roots of the lakonos with alcohol.
2. We insist in a dark place for 2 weeks.
We accept it every day. The daily rate is 15 drops.

In addition to the fact that lakonos tincture helps with otitis media, sore throat and laryngitis, it also perfectly strengthens the immune system.

Often, with the help of a tincture prepared according to the proposed recipe, stomach ulcers, duodenal ulcers, and kidneys are treated.

Lakonos in case of disruption of the gastrointestinal tract

With the indicated problem, you should eat several dried fruits of the lakonos in the morning and in the evening.

Lakonos decoction for stomatitis and toothache

You will need:
• Stems and leaves of lakonos - 2 tablespoons,
• Water - 1 glass,
• Salt - a pinch.

Cooking method
1. Dilute a small amount of salt in warm boiled water.
2. Fill the lakonos with salted water.
3. Boil for a few minutes. Let cool slightly.
For stomatitis and toothache, rinse your mouth with a cooked broth every 2-4 hours.

We introduced you to the main features of the American lakonos, and also told you about the main ways of using products based on it. Dear visitors of our portal, if you know the properties of a plant that we have not reported, or you know some interesting recipes using phytolacca, then we will be grateful if you share your knowledge in the comments to this article.

On this site, we tried to collect a decent collection of videos about medicinal herbs and plants, as well as recipes from them.

If you want to know about medicinal herbs and plants, in our category you will find video stories about the beneficial properties of these herbs, as well as recipes from them.

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