The term “Cornus” refers to a group of about 30-60 species of woody plants. These plants are commonly known as “dogwood”. A few of these woody species are evergreen, while some are deciduous shrubs or trees and others are perennial. The different species of the Cornus plant are found in southeastern United States, Europe, China, North America and Japan. Such plants can be used to make informal hedges or to make barriers while planting or even as individual plants. Traditionally, the wood of the cornus plant was used to make tool handles. The fruits of this plant can be eaten raw or dried and used in making various preparations such as brandy, marmalade or syrups.
Nutritional information and properties of Cornus
The nutritional information and properties of the cornus plant differs among the various species of it. For example, the bark of the Jamaican dogwood has many healing properties and is consumed by many people to treat various ailments. However, the American dogwood is very poisonous and should not be consumed at all.
What is most important to remember is that no type of dogwood should be taken without medical consultation. Consuming too much of the bark may lead to unwanted side effects. The bark of the dogwood contains tannoids while the fruits contain 9 % of organic acids, Vitamin C, many different minerals as well as tannoid substances.
The leaves, ripe fruit and bark of the cornus plant offer many health benefits and have been used for medicinal purposes for many years. Given below are some of the main health benefits of the cornus plant.
The fruits were widely used to treat dysentery and diarrhea. The method for doing this is as follows. About 9 cornus fruits were mixed with some pears and nutshells and a tea was made from these. This remedy was found to be effective for diarrhea.
An important fact to keep in mind while listing the health benefits and therapeutic uses of cornus is that all the parts of the plant have astringent properties. This is because all the parts of this cornus plant contain tannin.
A tincture can be made out of either the leaves or the bark of the plant and can be used to treat various ailments such as eczema, skin infections, intestinal parasites, veal skin, and gout and so on.
The tincture should be prepared in the following: mix 50 g of the ground plant in 250 ml of alimentary alcohol.
Filter this mixture for 15 days. It is advisable to consume about 10-15 drops of this tincture (after diluting in water) about three times a day.
Cornus, as mentioned above, has astringent qualities and therefore is often used as a substitute for quinine.
Cornus is also useful in treating colic
Making a tea out of dogwood has been found beneficial in bringing down high temperatures, and relieving body chills as well.
Dogwood teas are also effective in inducing vomiting as well as bringing about relaxation in sick persons.
The bark of the dogwood can also be used to treat external hemorrhoids.
All you need to do is to boil about 4 tablespoons of the bark in about 1 liter of water for about half an hour. Filter this mixture and then apply on the affected areas for relief.
The flowers of the plant can either be eaten raw or used in the making of syrups, brandy or marmalade.