The beccabunga, whose scientific name is Veronica beccabunga L, represents a perennial plant of the Scrofulariacee family.
The beccabunga is a medicinal herb that is extremely widespread even with many other names, such as weevil weever, the gooseberry or the favassin herb.
It is a plant that grows mainly in marshes, along ditches and also on the banks of streams; the beccabunga is a plant that has spread considerably in the central and northern part of the Italian territory, but it can also be found quite frequently within southern Italy and on the islands.
This plant has the particular characteristic of being able to grow up to 2400 meters above sea level.
The beccabunga is a vegetable characterized by a height of between ten and sixty centimeters, with rooting and rather branched stems.
The leaves are hairless and have a fleshy lamina, slightly rounded at the top.
The long-eared beak is characterized by a flowering that goes from the month of May to that of April, while its flowers have a pale blue color and develop crops inside inflorescences open in the axilla of the higher leaves.
The leaves of this particular plant, in the event that they are harvested in the initial part of the spring season, are excellent in salads.
It is a perennial herbaceous plant and, consequently, they have an erect development and does not keep the leaves during the winter season.
The beccabunga is a plant that needs at least several hours a day of direct contact with the sun's rays; in any case, it is a vegetable that tolerates low temperatures very well and, for this reason, it can easily be grown in the garden at any time of the year.
This plant must be watered regularly, every 2-3 weeks, by wetting the soil deeply with 2-3 glasses of water, always waiting patiently for the soil to be perfectly dry before proceeding with a new watering.
During the spring months, fertilization must be carried out, using, if possible, a fertilizer rich in nitrogen.
As far as the soil is concerned, it is essential to cultivate the beccabunga plants within slightly humid and not excessively drained substrates.
Active ingredients and properties
Within the beccabunga plant we can find various active ingredients, such as veronicin (a bitter glucoside), saponin, organic salts, tannin and vitamin C (in excellent quantities).
Among the main properties of the beccabunga plant we find an excellent beneficial action against the bladder, greatly simplifying the diuretic action.
Furthermore, it is extremely capable of speeding up the function of internal organs, also exerting an excellent benefit in the treatment and prevention of scurvy.
Among the other main properties of this particular plant, we also find beneficial actions at the digestive tonic, aperitif, antispasmodic and expectorant level.
It is a vegetable that is used, in particular, for external use in treatments that fight inflammation of the skin and oral cavity.
Furthermore, we must also not forget how the beccabunga plant is characterized by being completely edible and having a decidedly spicy flavor. This explains the reason why the beccabunga plant can be eaten raw in salads together with other edible herbs, or it can be usefully exploited to carry out a flavoring action on the different sauces that can be used in the culinary field.
As a diuretic, the beccabunga plant can be used optimally for the preparation of an infusion (which is made with two grams of leaves and buds for every 100 ml of water.
It is important to remember that one of the cups of infusion must be taken in the morning, always on an empty stomach. In any case, it is a very important and beneficial cure for all forms of bladder inflammation, which also allows to promote a higher emission of urine.
As for its use as an exciting, the beccabunga plant proves to be extremely useful for speeding up the function of the internal organs: for this reason, the preparation of decoctions is particularly suitable, which can be drunk in the form of two cups every day.
The beccabunga decoction can be easily obtained by mixing and boiling 2 grams of leaves and sprouts in 100 ml of water for at least five minutes and, if desired, it can be sweetened with excellent honey.
From an antiscorbutic point of view, on the other hand, to collect a high amount of vitamin C and make sure that you have a better defense against scurvy, it is sufficient to take every day, strictly on an empty stomach, a tablespoon of juice that can be easily obtained from the squeezing of the most tender and fresh leaves.