The Alchemilla, also known as the star grass (Alchemilla xanthochlora Rothm., 1937) is a plant that belongs to the Rosaceae family.
From a systematic point of view this plant belongs to the Domain Eukaryota, Kingdom Plantae, Subarranean Tracheobionta, Superdivisione Spermatophyta, Magnoliophyta Division, Magnoliopsida Class, Sottoclasse Rosidae, Rosales Order, Family Rosaceae, Subfamily Rosoideae, Tribù Potentilleae, Sottotribù Fragarinae and then the Genus Alchemilla and to the Species A. xanthochlora.
The term Alchemilla derives from the Arabic alkemelych (alchemy); this is because the alchemists used this plant for the search of the famous philosopher’s stone, through the use of water that was collected on the surface of the leaves.
Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
The Alchemilla xanthochlora is a very common plant, in all the meadows and mountain pastures rich in humidity where it blooms between June and July; it grows both in the Alps and in the Apennines.
The Alchemilla xanthochlora is a herbaceous species that possesses an oblique rooted rhizome; the stem is normally up to 40 cm tall and its leaves are lobed, opaque, hairy, toothed and with deep inlets between the lobes. At the edges of the leaves there are small and characteristic openings able to actively expel the water. The flowers are of a green color tending to yellow without corolla with two or four stamens. The Alchemilla fruit is made up of 1-4 acheni, enclosed in the glass.
It is not a species that is used in particular crops even if A. mollis is used as a ground cover and cultivated for ornamental purposes.
Uses and Traditions –
The Alchemilla xanthochlora possesses astringent and haemostatic properties and is used against dysmenorrhea. The leaves that are harvested during the summer are used for this plant. It is also indicated for the treatment of inflamed and bleeding gums and also for washing wounds, soothing irritations and inflammation of the mucous membranes and also for relieving menstrual pains. The Alchemilla leaves are rich in tannins and are recommended as a decoction and infusion.
Preparation Mode –
The Alchemilla is a plant rich in tannins, ellagitannins, phytosterols, flavonoids and saponins. Essential oil has astringent properties; it is an anti-diarrheal and has sedative properties. This oil is also an excellent natural remedy for the treatment of inflammation and for the prevention of various infections.
One of the home uses of this plant is to put macerate in very hot water put the dried leaves of alchemilla after having ground them with a chopper; After 10 minutes the infusion can be filtered. This preparation can be taken three times a day between meals. It is ideal for easing menstrual pain.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Pharmacy of the Lord, Advice and experience with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Publisher
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (edited by), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
Warning: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only and do not in any way represent a medical prescription; there is therefore no liability for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.