Anchusa azurea is a bristly perennial plant which grows to a height of 150 cm with a bush width of 70 cm. The straight leaves are lance-shaped. The petite, tube-like flowers are bright blue. The leaves are mild green.
Anchusa italica blooms in late spring; it prefers well-drained soil with full sun. It comes into flower from June to August. The seeds ripen during the July – September period. The hermaphrodite flowers get pollinated by the bees. The flowers and leaves find a benefit in medicine and in cooking.
Common names of anchusa azurea plant
The common name of this plant is garden anchusa. Other names are Italian bugloss or Italian alkanet.
Botanical name and family
The botanical name is Anchusa italica. It is also called Anchusa Azurea Mil. It belongs to the Boraginaceaefamily.
Geological places where Italian alkanet grows
It grows natively in the eastern Maghreb, western Asia, and Europe. We find it growing throughout Europe in Sicily, Greece, France, Ukraine, Russia, and Spain. Other places we find it are Pakistan, Cypress, Russia, and Turkey.
Anchusa azurea medicinal uses
Italian alkanet plant has found a use since the olden times for treating various illnesses. The medical properties are due to presence of polyphenols, triterpenes, tannins, and alkaloids. Here is a look at some of its benefits.
- Antitussive nature: An extract of the leaves of Anchusa italica has a use to treat coughs and colds. If one has a cough, drink a glass of an infusion of the leaves in the morning. It will relieve your cough.
- Depurative property: The Italian alkanet has this property of purifying or detoxifying your body. Drinking a decoction made from the flowers along with dried leaves will help to make us strong so one is able to resist diseases.
- Diuretic nature: You will prevent fluid retention through the use of diuretics. You will urinate more so this will remove toxic substances from your body. But, be careful about taking too much. Even nutrients such as potassium or sodium get removed. This may lead to dizziness or vomiting. People with kidney or bladder stones will get relief by doing this.
- Help heal inflammations: Make a poultice with crushed leaves or flowers to treat inflammations. Due to its anti-inflammatory nature, you can use it to get relief from gout or arthritis.
- Stimulant and tonic: Juice made using Anchusa italica rejuvenates you. It provides energy to reduce fatigue. It is good for general debility.
- Demulcent nature: This plant is rich in mucilage that helps soothe internal tissues. It protects your tissues from irritation so it will provide much relief. It finds much benefit for people with bilious complaints.
- Fever: One can get relieved of your fever by having a decoction of the leaves twice a day. The anchusa italica has an antipyretic nature that puts down fevers fast.
- Good for people with asthma: A good diet is useful for improving conditions for asthma patients. Take a decoction made from the leaves of garden anchusa both morning and evening. This will help relieve your asthma.
- Diaphoretic: A substance that makes us sweat is a diaphoretic. These increase dilation of surface capillaries thereby increasing the amount we sweat. Another method diaphoretics use is to decrease the surface tension of your pores. This will improve sweating. This process helps improve detoxification so it aids in weight loss. Drink a decoction of the leaves twice a day to lose weight.
- Narcotic action: Narcotics are medications to relieve pain. We use narcotics only when ordinary pain relievers do not have enough effect. Use a decoction of the flowers for providing relief from pain.
- Hypnotic: These are soporific substances that induce sleep. They have a psychoactive action that helps to treat insomnia. But, there is an increased risk of death so it is not used unless needed. Use an extract of the leaves or flowers of anchusa azurea to help people with sleeping disorders.
- Anti-rheumatic herbs and plants: An extract from these plants help in treating people with ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, or psoriatic arthritis. Sometimes, they give NSAIDs or painkillers for treating these symptoms. An infusion of the leaves helps people with these symptoms.
- Cathartic action: This is a purging or purifying action that comes about through the release of tensions and emotions. Any substance that speeds up defecation has a cathartic action. One can use Anchusa italica to remove tensions and improve your digestive process.
- Relief from chest pain: When we have chest pain, drink a glass of the juice of anchusa azurea. This pain will resolve immediately.
- Heal ulcers: Here healing property of this plant helps wound healing; it also helps to treat ulcers. Because of its tranquilizing nature and tonic properties, it helps make the patient calm.
- Use for abdominal pain: It gives relief to people with abdominal pain. Drink one glass of decoction morning and evening to get good relief.
- Antioxidant nature: Due to its antioxidant nature, you see Anchusa italica plant gives a protective action against oxidative stress. All free radicals get prevented from destroying good body cells during any metabolic process.
- Helps water re-absorption: Use of an extract of the plant is beneficial for the re-absorption of water by the tubules of the kidneys. It helps maintain homeostasis in our body.
- Anti-diabetic property: A decoction of the flowers and leaves of anchusa azurea plant helps maintain your blood sugar levels. This is helpful for diabetic patients.
- Hypotensive nature: The plant has a property of lowering our blood pressure. People with high blood pressure will benefit by having a glass of juice made with flowers of the plant.
Side effects of Anchusa
Anchusa has cynoglossine an alkaloid that can have a paralyzing effect. So, be careful when you use it internally.
Always take the advice of a registered medical practitioner before you begin any treatment using anchusa azurea plant. If you feel any pain or experience an allergic reaction, then stop taking the medication; consult your physician immediately.