- campanula">The bellflower
The bellflower belongs to the Campanulaceae family and includes more than 300 well-known species throughout the world. In fact, this plant, in addition to being cultivated, also grows spontaneously among brambles and adapts very well to any type of soil, so much so, which is also found in areas of the undergrowth covered with moss. The bellflower can have flowers of different colors in fact we find them with shades ranging from white to violet and its name derives from the characteristic shape of a bell but the leaves are also original and characteristic, which are heart-shaped. Its stem is usually about 20 centimeters but it is not uncommon for it to extend to two meters. We find this plant, even in a creeping or climbing version on inaccessible paths and on metal or barbed wire structures. The bluebells, however, are also used to embellish gardens and villas, especially as regards flower beds, indeed, the more colorful they are, the more they give liveliness to the environment.
The bluebells adapt everywhere but it is preferable not to expose them to a very high solar temperature because the flowers could wither and lose their delicate beauty. The ideal temperature for the flowers of this plant is 15 degrees. Any soil is fine for the campanula but it is advisable, if you want to keep it for a long time, to use earth mixed with peat and sand and keep it constantly moist but not excessively wet. The seedlings are bought in the nursery making sure they are not damaged. The flowers are very delicate and wrinkle even with only slight bumps. They must be planted directly in the ground, both in autumn and in spring, digging a hole that is not too deep otherwise the roots of the plant expand too much to the detriment of the aerial part. You can also keep it in a pot by pouring it naturally from the plastic pot of the nursery, possibly in a terracotta one that keeps the soil moist and well drained. When watering the seedlings, do not exceed with water although the soil must always be moist. Use water at room temperature and possibly calcareous and abundant with watering during the dry and sultry season. To fertilize Campanula plants, a fertilizer rich in nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus should be used to add directly to the watering.
Pruning, flowering and diseases of the Campanula
The bellflower is a decidedly delicate plant and to prune it, you need clean and sterilized tools to the maximum, also pruning is not always necessary but it is advisable to remove only the flowers and dry leaves. Flowering occurs from September to May and can be in the form of an inflorescence or the bellflower can be born immediately. The flowers can be pink, violet or white. The plant can easily be attacked by the red spider which causes yellowing and fall of the leaves. When the plant is small, it can be safely washed by passing cotton balls soaked in water mixed with Marseille soap over the leaves and then rinsing with a dispenser filled with plain water. If the plant is of considerable size, it is absolutely necessary to use a suitable fungicide.
Therapeutic properties of Campanula
We have seen that there are about 300 species of Bluebells. The one that has healing powers and is highly appreciated by homeopaths is the Campanula rapunculus which, together with other species, has astringent, diuretic, digestive and laxative properties. All the elements of the plant are used, namely roots, flowers and leaves which contain minerals, tannins, resins, gallic acid and gums. In ancient times, the commoners used the infusions and decoctions of bellflower to treat warts through compresses. In addition, the infusion was used to gargle in case of sore throat or sore gums. The plant is highly sought after in the kitchen because the roots of the bellflower, with a sweet taste, are used to enrich salads. The leaves, on the other hand, with a bitter taste, are excellent if placed in minestrone or in particular dishes such as soups. The root is absolutely starch-free so it can also be introduced into the diets of diabetic people.
Some herbal tips
The Campanula rapunculus called in jargon raperonzolo, is used to quench thirst. In this case, just chew some roots for a short time and even if given to children, it has no side effect in fact it is very useful when the problems of sore gums, due to teething, begin. Rapunzel root is also used as a refresher. A tablespoon of the root is left to boil in cold water for a quarter of an hour and then filtered, the decoction is allowed to cool and sip sweetened in the morning on an empty stomach for about fifteen days. Also excellent for angina, Campanula rapunculus, is used in the form of a decoction using a spoonful of root that is left to boil in half a liter of cold water for a quarter of an hour. They drink two or three cups a day. According to popular tradition, the bellflower is used to eliminate warts. The technique used since ancient times was to place some fresh leaves of bellflower on a gauze or a cotton cloth and then apply it tightly on the wart. The application should be repeated every evening and kept until the next morning and until the wart is eliminated. Also very useful for disinfecting light wounds and abrasions, the bellflower root in the quantity of a spoon, should be boiled in half a liter of water for 10 minutes and then rinsed the wound until it heals.