What is commonly called "muraiola" is a plant with multiple names: there are those who call it wind grass, red leg or vitreous grass (a name that derives from the custom of using the leaves of this plant to clean glass bottles and not, as you might think at first glance, from a potential poison); however its scientific name, used in botany, is "Parietaria officinalis". The muraiola has many features common to the most famous nettle, a plant belonging to the same family, that of the Urticaceae. However, coming into contact with berm grass is not as dangerous as coming into contact with nettle: on the contrary, in the past this herb was even rubbed on the epidermis which, coming into contact with the nettle, itched and reddened. In fact, the muraiola soothed these annoyances. It is an evergreen herbaceous plant, which is called perennial because it is possible to find it all year round. The name of "muraiola" refers to the fact that this plant often grows by climbing over old walls, hedges, cliffs and rocks; it is born and develops spontaneously in areas characterized by a Mediterranean climate, therefore tendentially mild, on dry soils that do not suffer from drought during the summer season. It can be found near the coasts but also in wooded areas up to an altitude of 700 meters. It is recognized because it is a rather low plant (generally it is high from ten to thirty centimeters, but there are also species up to 70 centimeters high), with an erect stem, of red color, covered by a thick hair; it has dark green flowers and oval leaves. In spring, when the muraiola blooms, its pollens can cause allergies in those predisposed.
Wall collection and storage
The muraiola is very well known and exploited for its many beneficial properties: in phytotherapy (an alternative medicine that uses the active principles of plants, herbs and flowers to treat diseases of different entities), the bonfire leaves are used, which are washed and let it dry in the shade, and the juice made from it. Even if the active ingredients used in the phytotherapic field are present in a more concentrated way in the freshly picked plant, they remain intact if the drying process is carried out correctly, keeping the dried leaves in an airtight container. Their collection generally takes place in the summer season.
The beneficial properties of the muraiola
The most important properties of the muraiola are the diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties. The ability to stimulate diuresis - very important also to prevent hypertension problems - is due to the flavonoids and potassium salts, which the muraiola contains in large quantities. Known since ancient times, this herb was used in the treatment of kidney stones. And the kidneys are among the organs that more than others benefit from the action of the wall: this is because the active principles of the plant favor the elimination by the organism of chlorides, toxic substances, thus preventing them from concentrating in the kidneys. The diuretic action of the muraiola has been known since the 1700s, when it is said that a botanist observed its efficacy on a dog, which, deprived of the muraiola of which it was gluttonous, soon developed calculations and died. Also the anti-inflammatory action carried out by the muraiola is partly attributable to the massive presence of flavonoids, which protect the bladder from spasms, inflammation and bacterial infections such as cystitis. In addition to flavonoids and potassium salts, muraiola contains mucilage, tannins, potassium nitrate and above all two very important acids, glyceric acid and glycolic acid, which protect both the kidneys and the liver, improving their functionality and preventing any malfunctions. It is also an excellent emollient that promotes sweating and expectoration, thus contributing to the purification of the organism.
How to take the muraiola
It is possible to find the muraiola in any herbal medicine, mainly in the form of dried leaves and reduced in powder, fluid extract and mother tincture in drops. It is also possible to make home-made infusions and decoctions to be taken twice a day for a period of at least a month. To be really effective, in fact, the preparations based on wall grass should be taken consistently for a few weeks. From the mother tincture the titrated extract is obtained, that is the officinal preparation containing a determined percentage of active principle (in the case of the muraiola, it is approximately 65%). Not only: there are also tablets that contain about 200 mg of active ingredient and that should be taken from a minimum of two to a maximum of four times a day. In the past, instead, the muraiola was taken fresh, just picked, and put to boil in a liter of water: in this way an infusion was obtained which, among its various beneficial effects, also boasted the anti-rheumatic one. In addition to infection and inflammation of the urinary tract, the bladder also acts effectively on hemorrhoids and genital irritations: in this regard, the infusion can be used in the preparation of soothing and refreshing vaginal lavages. In addition to being taken orally, wall-based preparations can be used for external use, using compresses on injured or inflamed skin.