Origin: Russia, Altai
A perennial grassy plant with a thick long branched creeping rootstock. Leaves are long-stemmed, large, broadly oval, dark green, leathery, wintering, collected in a basal rosette. On the underside of the leaves there are dotted glands, the leaves turn red by autumn. The flowers are small, pink, bell-shaped, eleutheropetalous, gathered in a beautiful dense paniculate-corymbose inflorescence. The calyx of the flower is gamophyllous, with five sepals, five corolla petals, ten stamens, a pistil with a semi-lower ovary and two columns with reniform stigmas. Fruit-boxes with numerous oblong seeds. Height 10-50 cm.
The leaves contain tannins, arbutin glucoside (up to 22%), Gallic acid and free hydroquinone (2-4%).
Tea from bergenia leaves has an antibacterial, astringent and hemostatic effect. Tea made from dried leaves is used for the treatment of inflammatory diseases of the diuretic system and in the treatment of diseases of the stomach and intestines. Another tea from the leaves of the bergenia is very useful for the human immune system. Decoction from the leaves of this plant is also used in the treatment of seborrhea and acne, making compresses on inflamed areas and rubbing it into the skin of the head. For many years, the bergenia leaf has been a surrogate of the tea leaf among the indigenous community of Siberia and Altai, as well as the rose bay leaf for the inhabitants of the European part of the country.
Tea from the leaves of bergenia . For 1 liter of water, take 2-3 whole fermented leaves or 3-4 tablespoons of lemon. Put the leaf in a teapot (ideally, use a thermos or clay teapot) and pour boiling water over it. Let stand for 10-15 minutes or boil over low heat for 3-5 minutes. The tea will be a rich dark colour, with a pleasant woody aroma.
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