Blackthorn Prunus spinosus L.




The Blackthorn is a prickly, highly branched, up to 3 m tall bush of the Rosaceae family. Each twig is almost horizontal and ends with a sharp thorn. The stem bark is usually gray-black. The leaves are relatively small, with short handles, broadly elliptical or oblong, consecutive, hairy on both sides, and the young are bent in a tube. All leaves are the same. Flowers appear before leaf development and have well-formed handles. They are bipolar, white, located singly or in groups of 2-3 in the wrists on the branches. The fruit is black-blue, spherical or slightly elongated, hard, covered with wax, with one stone. The stone has a spherical shape and a rough surface. Fruits mature in September, but remain in the bushes and after the fallow land until the beginning of winter. The plant gives abundant fruit almost every year.

Blackthorn is found in everywhere on the outskirts of the forests, pastures, in the working area up to 1000 m above sea level.

The fruit (Fructus Pruni) and the flowers (Flores Pruni) of the Blackthorn are used. Fruits are harvested from October to December, possibly when the frosts start, from which they considerably lose their thrift and become more delicious. Flowers are harvested in April - May, in the period of their full blossoming, without waiting for their blossoming. Cut out the top twigs, then collapse the flowers.

The rich and varied chemical composition of the Blackthorn can explain the wide use of folk medicine. Flowers are used as a mucosal and light laxative, for constipation and stomach pain. Fruits are used for diarrhea and various stomach upsets. The leaves are applied in the form of decoction in skin rashes and inflammation of the kidneys and bladder.

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