A perennial herb, narrow-leaved fireweed belongs to the fireweed family. Its straight, juicy stem grows from 75 to 200 cm. The root system has a large number of shoots and reaches a length of up to 100 cm. The leaves of fireweed are alternate, elongated, with a pointed tip.
Traditional medicine uses both the aerial part of the fireweed (flowers and leaves) and the underground part - the rhizomes. Flowers and leaves are harvested during the flowering period of plants, and the flowers should not be fully opened, since otherwise it is highly likely that during the drying process they will become seeds. Before drying, the leaves should be separated from the shoots and spread out in a thin layer under a roof or canopy.
The roots are harvested, as a rule, in the autumn period immediately after flowering. To do this, it is necessary to clean the rhizome from the ground, rinse well under running cool water. Next, the raw materials are dried in an oven or oven at a temperature of 70 ° C.
The fireweed contains a number of useful organic compounds, such as tannins, pyrogallic tannin, ascorbic acid, manganese, mucous substances, provitamin A, iron, flavanoids, essential oils, coumarins, and sugars.
Healing decoctions and infusions of fireweed in folk medicine are used as an effective enveloping, wound healing, hemostatic, anti-inflammatory, sedative and laxative.
The main indications of fireweed are various forms of depression, stress, neurosis. This plant is excellent for soothing and relieving stress.
Infusions and decoctions of fireweed are used for a large number of diseases of various organs. The chemical composition of this plant contains a large amount of tannin and mucus, therefore its broth is very often used for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, which are characterized by high acidity, and this infusion also helps to get rid of the negative consequences of intestinal dysbiosis and normalize its work.
The presence of ascorbic acid, manganese, iron characterizes this infusion as an effective remedy in the fight against iron deficiency anemia. Among other things, it can be used by women in case of heavy menstruation, as well as after childbirth.
Broths and infusions of fireweed help to stimulate cardiac activity, help to have a mild effect on the nervous system. Very often they are used for insomnia, headaches, irritability and nervous overexcitation.
Regular use of fireweed is an excellent preventive measure against cancer.
The leaf infusion is also used as an external remedy for diseases of the oral cavity, for example, sore throat, stomatitis, sore throat. The dry powder obtained from the leaves of the plant, due to its anti-inflammatory properties, is widely used as an adjuvant in the treatment of all kinds of ulcers and wounds. For otitis media and soft tissue bruises, it is used as a poultice.
It is often used as a cosmetic product. It is present as the main ingredient in various face masks, as well as for steam baths done before cleansing the skin. In cosmetology, fireweed is one of the most basic anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agents.
When steamed, the inflorescences and leaves of fireweed have not only a wonderful aroma, but also a huge healing power that helps to get rid of headaches. This quality has found its application in Russian baths. Brooms, combining fireweed stems and birch branches, are an excellent health enhancing agent.
In addition, the plant is indicated for people suffering from alcohol cravings. Regular consumption of this herb tea helps to cope with addiction. In case of poisoning, especially with alcohol or heavy metal salts, a decoction of fireweed will help.
Preparations based on fireweed are contraindicated for pregnant and young children. And their overdose can cause a slight feeling of nausea.