Bird Maker - White Stars
Tailed hen (Ornithogallum caudatum). These are bulbous ephemera blooming in early spring with white star-shaped flowers along with spring chistyak and blue snowdrops. When the trees are completely covered with leaves, the aerial part of them disappears and they enter a state of rest. The Latin name comes from the Greek words "ornis" - bird and "gala" - milk and means "bird's milk", which is probably due to the color of the flowers. The most popular name is "Indian sea onion." But the fact is that there is another plant also of the bulbs, which has the botanical name "sea onion" (Allium maritinum). The poultry catcher and this onion are very similar: both have wide oblong leaves, their bulbs grow above the ground. But the similarities are only at first glance, since the onion inflorescences have an umbrella, and the poultry farmer has an elongated panicle, sometimes more than a meter, and the flowers are different. In addition, onion leaves have the same width over the entire length, and on the chicken poultry leaves sharply narrow from two-thirds to 3-4 mm and continue like a narrow, pointed tail. For what they call it "tailed".
© Meneerke bloem
But the confusion does not end there. There is an opinion that the birthplace of the poultry is China, where it has long been used in folk medicine. But where does the "Indian" and "marine"? In fact, the plant comes from North Africa. It is also found in Pakistan and South Africa, where it grows in natural conditions. Therefore, the plant has nothing to do with the sea, nor with China or India. There is evidence that the plant contains strophanthin and rodexin, so it can be used for heart failure. But this should be done only under the supervision of a doctor, since with an overdose, these substances become hazardous to health. The same applies to other plants from which preparations for the heart are made (digitalis, oleander, strophanthus, etc.). But they are successfully used in homeopathy. In folk medicine, the initial stages of atherosclerosis are treated by the poultry farmer. But more often used as an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and analgesic for bruises, arthritis, joint pain, salt deposition, radiculitis, gout, even with advanced forms. Mostly they use alcohol tinctures (a small onion 3-4 cm or an inflorescence, or 2 leaves - per 1 liter of vodka), which slightly rubbed the sore spots. With a headache, it is lightly rubbed with whiskey.
© Magnus Manske
The plant is surprisingly unpretentious neither to soils, nor to watering, but with insufficient illumination of flowers it does not form. In the summer it should be taken out to the garden or to the balcony. It rarely forms seeds at room conditions, but propagates well vegetatively: small green daughter bulbs appear on the bulb under the scales. But do not rush to separate them, but wait until they form their root system, and only then plant them. Otherwise, they, not having enough vitality, will not be able to form roots and subsequently disappear.
The tailed poultry bird is endowed with rather valuable medicinal properties, for which it was used in ancient Egypt. But it must be borne in mind that the plant has not yet been sufficiently studied, it contains substances that can be taken internally only in scanty doses, since with an overdose they negatively affect the heart.
© Meneerke bloem