Fumaria is a medicinal plant appreciated for its beneficial properties grown in vegetable gardens and as an ornamental pot plant or directly in the ground in gardens.
General characteristics of the common Fumitory – Fumaria officinalis
There Fumaria officinalis a herbaceous plant of the family of Fumariaceae (Papaveraceae) native to Europe and Asia. It grows spontaneously in the meadows, in the cracks in the walls, in the fields along the edges of mountain paths up to 1500 meters above sea level. In Italy it is common in the loose and fertile soils of many regions, even in the islands.
The Fumaria has a subtle one yellowish-white root, taproot, conical in shape with short secondary hair-like roots. When the root is uprooted it gives off the typical acrid and acid smell of smoke.
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The part view of the plant, 20 to 30 cm tall, has a slightly prostrate bushy habit. The slender stems, erect and branched, of a greenish-bluish color, are rich in water, completely hairless and covered along their entire length by very decorative foliage.
The leaves they are thin, alternate, pluripinnate, long petiolate and green-blue in color.
THE flowers they are collected in racemic inflorescences carried on the apexes of the stems. Each inflorescence is formed by 20-30 small purple pink flowers darker at the apex. Each flower has four petals, two of which are more internal oblong and welded together at the apex, the upper external one has a spur on the back and the lower one is simple. The calyx is oval and is composed of two toothed sepals.
THE fruits they are globose achenes, slightly flattened at the apex, with a green, slightly wrinkled surface inside which they contain a single seed.
The officinal fumaria produces an abundant and prolonged from spring to the end of summer, from March to September.
Cultivation of Fumaria officinalis
It is a beautiful plant to grow also in the flower beds of the gardens and even in pots on balconies and terraces just ensure it a place in the sun, in the common soil rich in nutrients and regular watering especially in the summer months.
It is a plant that loves exposure to the shade or partial shade as it grows stunted in full sun.
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It prefers deep, humid, but well-drained soil and above all rich in organic matter. The ideal growing medium is one with a slightly acidic pH.
Generally it is satisfied with rainwater but if the climate is dry it should be regularly watered especially during the vegetative restart, in the flowering period and in summer to avoid premature loss of leaves. The plant survives if the soil is left bare.
Officinal fumitory: cultivation in pots
Fumaria plants are also easily grown in a planter about 30 cm wide and at least 60 cm long, containing common garden soil mixed with peat and sand. The plants should be placed at a distance of 15-20 cm and watered throughout the vegetative cycle. The pot should be placed in an area sheltered from the sun.
Multiplication of the Fumitory
The plant reproduces by seed.
Sowing directly in the home can be done in spring at the end of winter or in October in a cold seedbed. The seeds can also be sown directly in the home at a distance of 25 cm on the row and 25 cm between the rows. The germination of the seeds will take place after about 20 days, at most 30.
The seedlings born in the seedbed must first be strengthened and then implanted in a permanent home with the earthen bread that wraps the roots.
Planting or planting
In the flowerbeds, the Fumaria plants should be planted at a distance of 25 cm from each other and irrigated moderately and regularly to favor the rooting of the roots in the new home.
Parasites and diseases of the officinal fumaria
The Fumaria plants are very rustic and do not suffer from attacks by aphids and scale insects. However, they are sensitive to white disease or powdery mildew, a fungal disease that manifests itself with whitish deposits on the leaf blades, when the climate is too humid. If the cultivation soil is not very permeable, another fungal disease is attacked by the rottenness of the roots which in a short time causes its death due to softening of the plant tissues.
Cures and treatments
Fumaria plants are grown as annuals therefore require low maintenance as they are replaced every year with other young and vigorous ones.
Properties of the officinal fumaria
Since ancient times, this humble spontaneous plant, also called the Centennial Plant, has been recognized as having beneficial properties for the health and general well-being of our body. Galen and Dioscorides in fact prescribed it for the treatment of dermatoses and to treat liver diseases.
Today the beneficial properties of Fumaria are exploited in medicine, herbal medicine and homeopathy as a useful herb in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders such as: biliary dyspepsia, difficult digestions, constipation, postprandial heaviness and meteorism.
The active ingredients of this plant, alkaloids, flavonoids, organic acids, are used in the preparation of diuretic products, blood pressure and blood cholesterol regulators and for the treatment of liver failure. Furthermore, the fumaria fights arteriosclerosis thanks to its ability to reduce the hyperviscosity of the blood.
Used parts of the Fumitory and collection
The flowering tops and the aerial parts of the plant are used which after harvesting, between May and September, must be dried, placed in thin layers or gathered in small bunches, in a dark, cool and dry place and then stored in glass containers with closure. hermetic.
The Fumaria is used as an ornamental plant to create flower borders in the shade of hedges or tall trees and above all as a medicinal plant also in domestic gardens and agricultural soils to be subsequently used in the preparation of products. In dermatology it is used in the treatment of psoriasis, acne and dermatoses in general.
In herbal medicine, it is recommended in the form of an infusion or decoction to purify the body, to stimulate the production of bile, improve liver function, stimulate digestion and fight constipation and migraine.
The hydroalcoholic extract of Fumaria or Mother Tincture, (20 drops diluted in a little water or other), taken after meals perform an effective digestive action; 40 drops diluted in a little water or other beverage act as a blood thinner, regulate blood pressure and lower cholesterol.
Fumaria is well tolerated at recommended therapeutic doses. Prolonged use or abuse can cause drowsiness, diarrhea and can cause arterial hypotension due to the alkaloid content.
It is contraindicated in people suffering from glaucoma as it can cause increased eye pressure.
Fumaria-based preparations are also not recommended during pregnancy, during the breastfeeding period and for those who take sedatives and medicines used to lower blood pressure.
Variety of Fumaria
The genus Fumaria, belonging to the Fumariacee family, includes about 50 species, some not well known and almost all considered pests of crops.
Also known as white climbing fumario, it is a herbaceous plant that in full vegetative development forms a thick bush composed of 1 meter long stems with sparser pinnate leaves than the other species. In spring and summer it produces very showy inflorescences composed of about 20 flowers with a 4-petaled white or cream corolla with purple tips that turn pink after pollination. It produces small, very fertile globular seeds which, when falling to the ground, germinate giving life to new plants. Due to its speed of diffusion, Fumaria capreolata is considered a highly infesting plant capable of suffocating the lowest agricultural and non-agricultural plants that grow in its immediate vicinity.
Commonly called the blood of Christ, it is a climbing plant that can reach 3 meters in height. It produces cluster inflorescences composed of 14-25 flowers with white corolla, apex of the dark purple inner petals. The seeds are globose and fertile.
Known as a common flue or chimney of the walls, is an annual herbaceous plant native to western Europe and northwestern Africa. It has slender, erect or climbing stems with leaves composed of at least 3 leaflets with hairless lobed segments of green or glaucous green color.
Fumaria muralis is distinguished from other species by its racemose inflorescences composed of about 12 flowers with 4-petaled pink corolla with dark red or purple tips. The fruit is a globose or ovate achene with an almost smooth or barely wrinkled surface.
The Fumaria densiflora or dense-flowered fumaria is distinguished from the Fumaria muralis by the smaller young leaves with curled lobes and the production of a greater quantity of flowers but smaller and purplish.
A species of flowering plant native to Europe, Asia and Africa, but widespread and common in many other parts of the world. It is known as a fine-leaved flue and an Indian flue. It produces small flowers with white petals with purple tips. The fruit is a rounded capsule with a central crest.
In ancient Greece it was the Fumaria called Kapnion that …