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Cassava (cassava) is a vegetable crop that is widespread in Russia, contains a storehouse of useful substances that have a positive effect on the human body.
Growing this plant will not be difficult even for a novice gardener. Further in the article, we will show illustrative photos of this culture, and also talk about its beneficial properties and methods of application in traditional medicine.
What it is?
It is a perennial plant that is grown in tropical regions. Thereby the crop is one of the most drought-resistant... In the United States, it is called yuca, and there are also names such as cassava or Brazilian arrowroot.
Basically, the cassava root is used, which can be consumed whole or grated, as well as ground into flour.
Appearance and photos
This is a perennial evergreen shrub with a decorative deciduous crown. Plant height does not exceed 3 m. The central stem becomes freshened over time. The branchiness of the shrub is weak, but nodes are visible along the entire stem, bearing large dark green long-petiolate leaves.
The leaf plate is palmate-split, 3-7 lobes. The leaves are arranged alternately, as a result of which a loose-laced crown formation is observed. The flowers are unisexual, have a yellowish-white color, collected in apical racemes on long peduncles.
The most interesting is the underground part of the cassava. Its root system looks like a long thickened root, the length of which is 1 m and a diameter of 8-10 cm. Due to the secondary thickening of the roots 3-8 tuberous swollen roots are formed at the base of the stem... Their length reaches 0.5-1 m, and their diameter is 20 cm.
Below you can see a photo of the culture.
Comparison with tapioca: what's the difference?
Tapioca is a starch flour obtained from the roots of the cassava plant... Almost everything is prepared from it: cereals, soups, bread, chips.
Distribution and habitat
The plant is native to South America, but today cassava is cultivated in Africa, Asia and Indonesia.
Medicinal properties and contraindications
If you carry out the correct processing of seeds, then cassava loses all its poisonous properties. and has a beneficial effect on the human body, namely:
- normalizes blood sugar concentration;
- cleans blood vessels from cholesterol;
- normalizes blood pressure;
- strengthens the immune system;
- inhibits the aging process of organs;
- has an anti-inflammatory effect.
Attention! The seeds of the plant have a powerful emetic and laxative effect, and the raw root acts as a healing lotion for wounds.
But there are some contraindications:
- children under 18 years of age;
How to collect and store raw materials?
You need to dig out the roots of the plant 1-2 years after planting.... If it is used for nutrition, then 8-10 months will be enough, and it takes at least 20 months to get a starchy root crop. When the plant is about 3 years old, its rhizome will begin to lose starch and harden.
Raw tubers are peeled to the core, which is subsequently crushed and soaked for 2-3 hours in cold water. The resulting raw material is placed on a litter in a thin layer and dried for 5-6 hours. Strict adherence to all recommendations in the preparation of raw materials will allow the cyanide to completely evaporate, so the root crop is safe for consumption.
How to use?
The use of roots, leaves and stems for medicinal purposes
Cassava is effective not only for constipation, but also for stool disorders... You need to take 100 g of plant roots and boil in 1 liter of water. Cool the resulting liquid to room temperature and take ½ cup 2-3 times a day. Treatment lasts until relief comes.
The leaves and stems of the plant do an excellent job with fever. Required Ingredients:
- leaves - 400 g;
- stems - 80 g;
- water - 1 l.
Combine all the components in a container, which is then set on fire and simmer there until the amount of water is halved. Then remove from heat, cool and take 50 ml 3-4 times a day. The course lasts 4-5 days.
The prepared broth is effective not only for the treatment of rheumatism, but also for the prevention of its development.
- cassava leaves - 150 g;
- lemongrass leaves - 80 g;
- ginger root - 15 g.
Pour all components with 1 liter of water, simmer over the fire until the amount of water becomes 400 ml. Take ½ glass of broth every morning for 2-3 weeks.
The leaves of the plant effectively eliminate various parasites from the gastrointestinal tract... The studies were carried out by scientists on young goats to which this product was added to food. After that, a decrease in the symptoms of worm infection was found. To get rid of parasites, you can buy a cassava-based product at the pharmacy or add crushed plant leaves to your food.
Cassava leaves are effective for wound healing. This is due to the fact that the culture contains many nutrients.
- cassava leaves - 100 g;
- aloe leaves - 100 g.
The given components are crushed to a homogeneous mass, and then applied to the wound site.
From stress and anxiety
Plant flour has a beneficial effect on the functioning of the nervous system... You just need to add it to food for 1 month in order to feel a noticeable result: anxiety will pass, the body will learn to deal with stress, and overall health will improve.
Another amazing property of cassava flour is to lower blood pressure. This is due to the increased concentration of fiber in the composition. Each serving contains approximately 4 grams of dietary fiber. You just need to mix 10 g of cassava flour into food and after 2 weeks the result will be noticeable.
Using this miracle plant, you can make a useful face mask. It is easily absorbed and improves the appearance and condition of the skin.
- It is good to wash your face with warm water or steam it to open the pores as much as possible.
- Mix plant flour and warm water to obtain a mushy consistency.
- Apply to face and wait for the mask to dry.
- Then wash your face with cold water to tighten your pores.
The mask is applied 1-2 times a week, after which the skin gets a healthy glow.
For skin lightening
Cassava peel can be used as a skin scrub... With its help, peels are made. You just need to grind the peel to a pasty state, apply on the face for 5-10 minutes and rinse. You need to carry out the procedure 3 times a week.
If the condition of the hair has worsened, they began to grow slowly, then cassava can help. It is necessary to make a paste from the roots and leaves of the plant, which is applied to the hair in the form of a mask and left for 1 hour. Then rinse with warm water. Apply the product 2 times a week.
From falling out
The above mask is also effective for hair loss. In addition, it will provide nutrition to the strands along the entire length and will moisturize them.
The composition of cassava contains cyanide in an increased concentration, therefore when eating a raw root, a person develops severe intoxication, up to death... But even frequent consumption of a properly processed plant can lead to vomiting, diarrhea and bitterness in the mouth.
Step-by-step instructions: how to grow yourself?
Purchase of planting material
You can buy seeds for planting a plant in a specialized store at a price of 60 rubles per bag.
Required tools and materials:
- wooden box;
- leafy land;
This plant grows in a tropical humid climate, but tolerates partial shade without consequences. The Caucasian Dioscorea is not particularly demanding for the composition of the soil, but it is better to choose a place with loose, fertile soil with a neutral pH level.
Attention! If the soil is too clayey, the growth of clones will be limited.
If a seed propagation method is used, then cold stratification must be carried out. To do this, mix leafy earth and sand in equal proportions, fill a wide wooden box with the mixture and sow seeds there. This should be done at the end of February. Further you need to ensure that the temperature of the substrate does not exceed 5 degrees, and for this you need to moisturize it regularly.
Planting material can be planted in mid-April. Procedure:
- Dig out small depressions, place the germinated seeds there.
- They need to be located at a distance of 1.5 m.
- Sprinkle on top with a layer of fertile soil and slightly moisten.
- Watering... In summer, Dioscorea needs regular watering. For this, a settled and warm liquid is used. With the onset of autumn, moistening is carried out less often, and with the approach of the dormant period, when the foliage begins to turn yellow, it is enough to water once every 2 weeks.
- Fertilizer... Throughout the growing season (spring-autumn), every 15-20 days, you need to apply liquid mineral fertilizer for vines and ivy, which can be bought at any flower shop.
- Wintering... If the winter in the region is very harsh, then the plant is insulated with foliage shed by it.
Reference! In warm climates, it is not required to cover the culture.
Diseases and pests
Dioscorea is highly resistant to diseases and pests. A spider mite, which feeds on sap, can harm the plant, as a result of which the leaves are deformed and dry out.
To recognize the pest, you can treat the leaves with soapy water.... With a large lesion, Actellik is used. If the plant lacks lighting and watering, then the leaves become yellow.
Cassava is an amazing plant that is grown not only for decorative purposes, but for harvesting raw materials used to treat many ailments. But because of the possible harm, it is imperative to consult a specialist before using the plant.