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White willow: fragile and mysterious


Кампус КПІ, 1 корпус, Верба біла

We have become accustomed to numerous photo shoots on the background of the university’s first building. It was portrayed in many angles. And the invariable attribute of summer photos is the look through the spruce branches or fragile greens almost century-old willows. White, or weeping, as the people call them. Sometimes inclined branches reach the ground, sometimes landscape "hairdressers" cut them too high. Many birds live there. And always being here one want to stay a moment, breathe in the unique aroma of trees.

The birthplace of white willow - East (China, Iran, Japan). It was the main tree of ancient Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, and bowed their delicate "weeping" branches to banks of the Nile and the Euphrates. Now it grows almost anywhere, embellishing parks of many cities. It looks especially beautiful in ponds. Poetic image of a willow sung in many fairy tales, legends and songs. They say that some goods were delivered to us from China in willow baskets. Unloaded containers were thrown out. Later one sprig sprouted, turned green and settled everywhere. Now without willow and viburnum it is difficult to represent Ukraine.

The Slavs considered willow as a symbol of the family hearth, a talisman against evil forces - from the branches they made a magic pomelo against witches and sorcerers. They believed that willow rescues from fires. Its branches on Palm Sunday sanctify and cherish all year, because they protect from all evils. On Christmas Eve, the girl threw shoes at willow - if you get stuck in the branches, she will soon marry. Women asked the willow to bring the love back.

Willow grows surprisingly quickly. It is necessary to bring a twig and put it in the water - be sure it will be rooted. The life span of the tree is over a hundred years. There are about 170 species of willow - breaking, polar gray (Ash), purple and so on. Salix alba has the most healing properties.

Since ancient times, it is a beautiful gentle tree - an indispensable tool in healing people and making various necessary household items - from the fence to the furniture. In folk medicine a fever and pain were treated with shoot willow bark tincture or decoction of young twigs. Scientists have discovered that it contains salicylic acid. 10 g of the cortex correspond to 3 tablets of aspirin. Also in its composition there are tannins, glycosides, flavones, pectin, mineral elements, ascorbic acid and others.

Let this this beautiful and useful plant pleases us further.

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