Sagan-daila - this is the melodic name the Buryats call a plant known to scientists as Adams' rhododendron. It is a low-growing, branchy shrub with delicate pink flowers, whose medicinal properties are widely used in folk medicine.
A bit of history
Tibetan monks were the first to talk about a healing plant with amazing properties. They found that if you brew and drink tea from small bluish-green leaves, you will magically gain strength, a person will become more enduring, efficient, vigorous, and that the monks were not so relevant, but the effect was still on the face - the potency would increase. … Dal garbo - this is how the Tibetans called the useful herb.
Rhododendrons in India and Tibet have long been treated with great respect. After all, these delicate flowers, along with six other most valuable medicinal plants, surround the Buddha of Health and Medicine. Rhododendron flowers are an exquisite delicacy, they are dried or pickled to add to dishes to give them a special sourness. Not surprisingly, the monks came up with the idea of trying to brew tea from a variety of plants available in the mountains.
Shamans in the Far East and Mongolia have found other uses for the plant, in addition to healing. If the herb is brewed in a special way, then the “mountain spirit” contained in it will help the initiates on the mystical journey “to the other side”. He will not only give strength to walk the path of the ancestors, but also help to make them talk. It was believed that with the help of this drink it is possible to find a way to return the "lost soul" to a person, that is, to fight obsession, madness. "White wing" - sagan (sakhan) dayli - called the Buryats a useful flower, the Mongols call it adamsyn terelzh. Siberian hunters brewed tea from sagan-dili so that they could tirelessly pursue the wild beast.
For science, sagan-diley was discovered by the Russian naturalist Mikhail Ivanovich Adams. As often happens, it was pure chance that helped him. In 1806, a scientist as part of the Russian embassy went to China, but due to difficulties in Russian-Chinese relations, the embassy was not allowed further than Urga. While the diplomats were trying to come to an agreement, the scientist used his time profitably - he studied the nature of the Far East. Later, he presented his works to the scientific community, which recognized the new species of rhododendrons discovered by him and gave it the scientific name Rhododendron adamsii.
Scientists became interested in the therapeutic effect of sagan-daili in the wake of the search for new, natural alternatives to synthetic agents. The plant has not been recognized as pharmacopoeial, however, it is classified as potentially medicinal. With this formulation, scientists mark those herbs whose beneficial effect has been confirmed by various tests, but not fully understood.
The healing effect of sagan-dili
Scientific research has shown that the shoots of the plant are saturated with terpenoid and phenolic compounds. They contain phenocarbolic and hydroxycinnamic acids: salicylic, vanillic, ferulic, protekhoic, coffee. Contains plant and ursolic and oleanolic acids, tannins and resinous substances, essential oils. The presence of flavanoids in the chemical composition of the plant, especially quercitin, avicularin and hyperoside, has a serious effect on the therapeutic effect of sagan-dili.
Irkutsk Medical University conducted studies on mice, which showed that alcohol tincture of sagan-daili is able to cope with negative microflora and even suppress the bacteria of Staphylococcus aureus. Scientists see in Adams' rhododendron the potential of a drug that can increase the body's resistance to various infections, it is assumed that it can serve as an immunomodulator. They are also attracted by the antioxidant activity of the plant, its anti-inflammatory effect.Experiments have shown that the "white wing" is really capable of miracles - the grass lowers blood pressure, stimulates the activity of the heart muscle, and helps the body cope with oxygen starvation. Scientists were surprised to note the fact that the herb sagan-daila can help the body cope with stress more effectively than the popular tincture of eleutherococcus and also has a tonic effect on the nervous system. The ability of Adams' rhododendron to act as a diuretic is being studied.
Indications for the use of sagan-daili
Since the plant is still considered poorly understood, there is no medical indication for its use. No doctor can officially prescribe sagan dili tea for you. And this is despite the fact that there are studies of plant preparations confirming that they have a beneficial effect on the work of organs such as the heart, kidneys, brain, and act as immunomodulators. Scientists assume that when they can call the drugs finally studied, they will be able to prescribe them for withdrawal symptoms, as a remedy for chronic fatigue, to relieve nervous tension. It can be shown as a tonic as well as a general tonic. Perhaps it will be prescribed to relieve edema, the cause of which is heart disease, and also used in the treatment of colds. But all this will happen only when the plant preparations pass all the checks, and among them there are those associated with prolonged action, its accumulation in the body. In the meantime, Adams' rhododendron can only be used as a means of traditional medicine.
In traditional Tibetan medicine, as well as among the peoples of the Far East, sagan-daili has a wide range of applications. Tea is given to those who suffer from various diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, pathogenic organisms. They rinse a sore throat, treat stomatitis and other diseases of the oral cavity. Wounds and ulcers are also considered not superfluous to rinse with sagan-dili broth. Does your heart hurt? And again magic tea will come to the rescue. It will help with fatigue, exhaustion, nervous breakdown. And also it is brewed for those who suffer from a hangover or want to increase potency. They insist on Adams' rhododendron on alcohol to be used in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract associated with pathogenic microflora, to save themselves from dysentery and diarrhea.
It should be said that sagan-dili leaves are added to a blend of herbal teas in very small doses. The plant not only enhances the tonic properties of the drink, but also adds to it a light buttery aftertaste, aromatic notes of barberry, pine needles, green apples.
Contraindications to the use of sagan-daili
If you decide not to wait for the end of the research and trust traditional medicine, be aware that Sagan-Dili preparations have a number of contraindications. Do not give herb to children under the age of 18 and do not experiment with it if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. The remedy will not benefit those who have been diagnosed with hypertension. You should know that sagan-daila in case of an overdose can cause color perception disorders, hallucinations, overexcitation. It is no coincidence that the shamans used the herb in their mysteries. After an overdose, you may suffer from urinary dysfunction, and if the overdose follows one after the other, you can “earn” a renal dysfunction. If you have chronic diseases, you drink any medications, be sure to discuss your desire to take Adams rhododendron medications with your doctor.
Where does Sagan Daila grow and what does it look like?
You can find "magic grass" on rocky slopes, in the highlands, in mountain forests and lichen tundra. It grows in northeastern Tibet, Mongolia and the Far East. Attempts have been made to cultivate the plant and they can be called successful, but only "in captivity" the Adams rhododendron grows more slowly and does not bloom.
If you go after the "white wing" of shamans yourself, then look for a short shrub with brown bark and spread-out branches covered with tiny oblong leaves, reddish-brown and old plants and silvery in young ones. Tiny sagan-daila flowers are pink or pale pink. Grass is harvested during flowering, collecting leaves, flowers and tender tops of the shoots.