Aspen, or Common Aspen, or trembling Poplar (lat. Populus tremula) is a deciduous fast-growing tree with soft wood, belonging to the genus of poplars of the Willow family.
Aspen has a columnar trunk, which can reach up to 35 m in height and 1 m in diameter. Aspen tree lives on average from 80-90 years, sometimes even up to 150 years. The aspen tree grows quite quickly, but the wood of the tree is soft, therefore it is prone to diseases. As a result, large and healthy trees are almost impossible to find.The root system of the tree is deep, root offspring grow quite strongly.
Young aspen trees have a smooth, light green or greenish-gray bark, cracking and darkening towards the butt with time. The color of aspen wood is white with a greenish tint.
The leaves of the tree are rounded, sometimes rhombic, arranged alternately. The length of aspen leaves is from 3 to 7 cm, sharp or obtuse at the apex, with a rounded base, margins are town-like, with cirrus venation. In shoots of overgrown leaves can be up to 15 cm in length and have an almost heart-shaped shape. Petioles of aspen leaves flattened laterally in the upper part and because of this there is a strong trembling of the leaves with air movement. In autumn, the leaves change color - from green to golden yellow and brown-red.
Aspen is a dioecious plant. The flowers are small, inconspicuous, grow in drooping catkins. Male catkins of reddish color grows up to 15 cm long, female catkins of greenish shade, are thinner than male ones. Aspen flowers blooms before the leaves bloom, that is, in late April or early May. Seed ripening occurs after 35 days, then they are scattered by the wind. 1-2 days are enough for germination on moist soil. Aspen begins to bloom after 10-12 years, then flowering and fruiting occurs annually. Aspen fruit is a very small box, the seeds inside of which are equipped with a bunch of hairs.
Aspen is quite widespread in temperate and cold climatic zones of Europe, practically throughout Russia, in Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, and on the Korean peninsula.
It grows on the border of forests and tundra. It is found in forest and forest-steppe zones, along the banks of reservoirs, in forests.
The tree is not picky, grows well on various soils, as part of mixed forests. In the steppes, trees form aspen chippings, which multiply by shoots of the root system, while new stems in the colony appear further 30-40 meter from the parent tree. Some aspen colonies of this kind can reach several hectares, increasing by about a meter per year. The location of the root system of such colonies allows the trees to survive forest fires.
Aspen belongs to very frost-resistant trees and grows almost to the forest-tundra. Due to rapid growth by 50 years, it can produce up to 400 cubic meters of wood per hectare . It can live up to 150 years.
Aspen blooms before the leaves appear, so the collection of leaves is carried out in early May or in June. The leaves are dried in the shade, you can also dry the leaves in the dryer at a temperature of about 60 degrees. Aspen buds must be collected before they bloom. The speed of drying after collection is also important (the kidneys are most quickly dried in an oven or oven).
The bark is collected not only from young aspen trees, 7–8 cm thick, but also from thin branches, from approximately April 20 to June 1 - during the period when the sap begins to move.
The bark is cut with a sharp knife around the trunk, at a distance of about 30 cm. After that, a vertical incision is made on each resulting tube and the bark is removed. It is better not to smooth the bark from aspen so that wood does not drip into the bark - this reduces the medicinal properties of the bark.
The collected bark, cut into pieces 3-4 cm long, is dried under a canopy either in the oven (at a temperature not exceeding 60 degrees). If the raw materials are dried indoors, it must be well ventilated. You should not dry the aspen bark in the sun, because it loses its properties. Shelf life of the harvested bark is not more than 3 years.
Aspen leaves contain glycosides, including salicin, carotene and ascorbic acid, protein, fat, fiber.
The cortex also contains glycosides (salicin, salicorotin, tremulacin, bitter glycosides, populin), essential oil, pectin, salicylase, tannins. Aspen bark includes many useful trace elements: copper, molybdenum, cobalt, zinc, iron, iodine and nickel.
Aspen kidneys contain salicin and populin glycosides, benzoic and malic acids, tannins, essential oils and carbohydrates.
Aspen wood includes cellulose, nectazan, and resin.
The leaves contain carbohydrates, organic acids, carotenoids, vitamin C, carotene, flavonoids, phenol glycosides, anthocyanins and tannins.
Individual intolerance to the components of dietary supplements and herbs.
Add 10 gm of bark to 200 ml of boiling water, simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes, then infuse for 1 hour, strain. Take 2 tablespoons 3 times a day.
Tincture: To 50 g of bark, pour 500 ml of alcohol, insist for 7 days in a dark place, strain. Take 25-30 drops 3 times daily before food.
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