In mid-April, a daphne blooms. Those who see this plant for the first time often take it for a superearly view of lilac. He admires how well the branches strewn with flowers look, and dreams of planting the same bush on their site. I once belonged to such naive people who believed that they had brought out a very early grade of lilac. I was amazed by the meter-high bush that grew near the village road in the Kaluga region.

Now, in front of my house, a magnificent wolfberry bush blooms every spring. This plant is also called "Daphne", "deadly wolfberry", "wolf bast" and "wolfwort". In early spring, in mid-April, a miracle happens: the wolfberry blooms. The snow still did not melt around, and the bush of a hilarion was all in bloom. Its pink-lilac flowers, in the form of exact copies of lilac flowers, seem unthinkable this offseason, when winter has not yet ended and spring has not arrived.

Shrub with the terrible name “wolf”, “wolf bast”, or “deadly wolfberry”

Botanical family Volcheyagodnikovyh (Thymelaeaceae), in which there are about 50 species on the territory of Eurasia, it is distinguished by some cunning. On the one hand, all its representatives are surprisingly decorative. Especially during flowering and fruiting. I recall the legend that gave the name Daphne (Daphne) this plant. That was the name of a beautiful girl in an old romantic legend. But there is also the “other side of the coin”. The girl Daphne dies from the revenge of the jealous wife of Zeus, and the beautiful daphne bush turns out to be very poisonous. How not to recall his other names, in which there is a threat and a warning: Daphne, Wolfskin and Wolf.

Daphne decorative

In the middle zone, the common wolf species is common (Daphne mezereum), or Wolf bast, which blooms very early and abundantly. On all branches of the shrub at the same time a lot of fragrant flowers bloom, each of which resembles a lilac flower. Elongated leaves will bloom near the end of flowering. Hilarium flowers appear before coltsfoot. The branches of the bush are covered with flowers for more than three weeks, from April to early May. Sometimes re-flowering occurs in autumn, when only individual flowers bloom. The shrub always looks neat. It is rarely seen with broken branches. They are protected by a strong plastic bark, allowing the branches to bend rather than break. Try to break this bark. Will not work. But to tear it "like a bast from a linden" can every child. But this should not be done, because the bark and juice of the wolf are also poisonous.

And how beautiful the "wolf's bast" in the fall! By this time, its juicy ruby ​​berries ripen. There are so many of them that the crown of the bush becomes scarlet. In winter, the wolf also looks good. Its branches with dark bark and clearly delineated buds stand out in relief against the background of white snow.

Dangerous and beautiful wolf bast

A wolffish contains a high concentration of toxic substances in all its parts. When its juice enters the mucous membrane of the mouth or eyes, a strong burning sensation occurs. In rare cases, there are seizures that are symptoms of general poisoning. In some people, juice has almost no effect on the skin reaction. But only up to a certain limit. Both children and adults should never bite off branches with their teeth. If there are children in the family, then it is better to remove the juicy berries from the branches before the child has time to send them into his mouth. Berries in the stomach often ends in trouble. There are fatal outcomes. Before first aid is provided, you need to rinse your stomach, and then eat a few tablets of activated carbon and drink a large amount of liquid. Leaves of wolfberry are dangerous even for horses and other domestic animals. But for birds, for example, thrushes, this is only a nourishing delicacy. Doesn’t want a wolfhound to offend the distributors of its seeds.

How to grow a wolfberry on your site

Dairy farm agricultural technology takes into account its species features. The undersized volcheyagodnik is odorous, or fragrant (D. odorata), will feel great on the south side of the alpine slide. For example, among limestones. Less winter hardy wolfberry Bercoud (D. burkwoodii) it is necessary to warm for the winter. Evergreen dwarf wolfberry boletus (D. cneorum) greatly expands in breadth. But only when fresh soil is regularly sprinkled on his bare branches. Most species prefer open and semi-shady places, fertile soil consisting of aged peat, sand and loam.

Volhnik ordinary (Daphne mezereum) Is a classic forest plant. His young bush can be transplanted to the site of the forest. This species is characterized by slow growth.

Wolf bast unpretentious. But he does not like the long stagnation of water on the site. It is better to replant the shrub to a new place at a young age. Daphne is usually propagated by cutting and sowing seeds in the fall in the year of harvest. Do not disdain the bush and self-seeding. When spring sowing need stratification.

Botanical characteristics of wolfberry

The wolfberry is a small evergreen or deciduous shrub with red berries. It blooms in late winter or early spring, bears fruit in July and August. Fragrant flowers consist of 4 or 5 petals, fused at the base of a tube. In evergreens, flowers with a greenish tinge, in a falling wolfberry - pinkish. The plant is highly toxic.

The daphne dwells in the mountains of Europe, in North America and in Asia. In Russia, it can be found mainly in the territory of the Kursk and Belgorod regions. This shrub grows on the gravel and limestone soils, chalk outcrops. The plant is protected by law and listed in the Red Book of Russia.

Useful properties of daphne

In all parts of the daphne contains poisonous substances - glycoside dapnine and meserin resin. The composition of the flowers include flavonoids, coumarins, benzoic acid and fats. In the cortex, wax, coloring matter and gum are present. Drugs from the wolfberry have effective antibacterial, laxative, hypnotic, antiepileptic and anti-tumor properties. They are used, as a rule, outwardly - as a highly irritating agent.

For the preparation of drugs using the bark and fruits of the plant, sometimes branches with leaves. The bark is harvested before flowering, in early spring. It is cut into strips, laid out in a layer and dried under a canopy in the open air or in well-ventilated rooms. Fruits are harvested in July-August, dried in special dryers at low temperature. Even after drying, the plant does not lose its poisonous properties, so all harvesting work is recommended to be carried out with gloves.

Volcheyagodnik - one of the earliest and most generous honey plants. However, fresh honey is poisonous and can cause inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth and intestines. It can be used only after boiling.

The use of daphne

In folk medicine, alcoholic tincture of a daphne is used externally as an effective remedy for rheumatism, gout, radiculitis, abscesses and tumors. Previously, a decoction was used for quinsy, colds, insomnia, jaundice, and tuberculosis. Drugs based on the bark of the daphne are also considered effective. They are used for some skin diseases, inflammation of the eyes, aching joints. It is recommended to lubricate the places of bites with snakes and dogs with fruit juice, flowers are used as a strong anthelmintic.

Broth: in 250 ml of boiling water, 4 g of roots should be poured, the composition should be heated in a water bath for about 30–35 minutes, then let it brew for 15 minutes, filter and drink 2 times a day and 1 tsp before a meal.

Tincture: 1 g of fruit or bark of the plant must be poured 100 ml of 70% alcohol, insist weekly, shaking occasionally, and strain through gauze. In a tablespoon of water, you need to dilute 1-2 drops of tincture and take 3 times a day before meals.

Infusion: 1 g of crushed fruits should be poured with distilled water in a volume of 250 ml and infused for 10-12 hours. After diluting 5 drops of the medicine in a spoon of water, it should be taken 3 times a day after meals.

What is dangerous wolfberry

The whole plant is poisonous, and very strong. When inhaled, pollen causes irritation of the mucous membranes of the nose and respiratory tract. After eating the berries, there is a burning sensation in the mouth, pain in the stomach, nausea, vomiting, weakness, seizures are possible. Contact of the plant sap into the eyes threatens with difficultly corneal ulcerations. If even a piece of bark gets into the mouth, burning and scratching are felt, blisters and ulcers form on the mucous membranes. When wet bark touches the skin, purulent wounds can form. The use of daphne in medicine is dangerous and is always accompanied by a risk to human health.

Daphne ordinary (wolf bast)

It is a low, low-branched shrub from 50 cm to 1 m in height; on favorable soils, the plant reaches 2.5 m. The trunk and branches are gray-brown in color. Reddish, with a pleasant smell flowers bloom before the appearance of lanceolate leaves. The fruits are oval, light red. This species blooms in April-May. The plant prefers nutrient-rich soils, shady places, grows in forests, along the banks of streams. There is a wolf's hook in the north of the European part of Russia, in Western Siberia, in the Caucasus.

Daphne Borovina

This species is an evergreen shrub with a height of 20 cm to 1 m. Its trunk and branches are densely covered with small leathery leaves, pinkish or cherry flowers grow on the ends of the stems and are collected in inflorescences in the form of heads. The fruit is a yellow-red berry. Borolovoi wolves bloom in the first half of May, possibly secondary bloom in July-August. The plant is found in Ukraine and Belarus. This species grows in small groups in a limited area, as well as in pine forests of medium humidity.

Because of the decorative and medicinal properties of the plant is destroyed by the local population. For example, in the Pripyatsky Reserve, this species of wolfberry is under protection. It is also listed in the Red Book of several European countries. In folk and official medicine, the plant is used to treat gastrointestinal diseases, cancer, with neuralgia and paralysis. The decoction is used as a hypnotic and antiepileptic agent.

Contraindications to the use of wolf cub

All drugs, which includes the plant, are poisonous. They can be used only after consultation and under the supervision of a doctor. Self-medication with a daphne is comparable to suicide. The use of daphne preparations, even in the form of rubbing, is strictly contraindicated for pregnant and lactating women and children. You can not use drugs for any bleeding, arrhythmia, heart failure, tachycardia. Be sure to observe the exact dosage of these medicines.

Education: A diploma in medicine and treatment was obtained at the NI Pirogov University (2005 and 2006). Advanced training at the Department of Phytotherapy at the Moscow University of Peoples' Friendship (2008).

In medicine

In the Russian scientific medicine, wolves are not currently used. Previously, the local irritant effect of preparations from the bark and berries of the plant was used in various skin diseases as a blister. Ointments, alcohol tincture, plasters were prepared from daphne. However, the dangers of using the drugs negated their benefits. Abroad, doctors use tincture of the bark of the wolf as an anti-neuralgic agent.

Contraindications and side effects

The whole plant is poisonous. Even the honey derived from it is poisonous. If you inhale tiny particles of bark, even a pinch of dust, irritation of the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract will lead to a runny nose, sneezing and coughing. If these particles enter the eyes, conjunctivitis will develop. Symptoms of poisoning with a daphne - burning in the mouth, pain in the stomach, drooling, then nausea, vomiting and diarrhea begin. The patient loses a lot of fluid, feels weak, frequent dizziness and convulsions. Due to the irritant effect of meserine, bleeding ulcers form in the digestive tract. Since other active ingredients of the plant - derivatives of oxycoumarin and daphnin glycoside weaken blood coagulation, bloody clots appear in vomit and bowel movements, blood and urine enter. In case of poisoning by a wolfberry, urgent medical care is required, it is impossible to cope with it on your own, since a set of specific measures is required. And even the energetic actions of physicians sometimes can not prevent death, due to the decline of cardiac activity. When using the drugs of daphne, you should especially strictly follow the dosage. They are contraindicated in children, pregnant, lactating, elderly people and people whose body is weakened by the disease. You can not take daphne and with any bleeding, heart failure, tachycardia and arrhythmia.


The wild gooseberry (Daphne mezereum L.) belongs to the vast family of the Wild Dice (Daphne), family Volchnikovye (Thymelaeaceae). The Latin name of the genus was given by Carl Linna. The great natural scientist wanted to emphasize the similarity of the leaves of plants representing the genus with laurel. Therefore, he chose the name, translated from Latin meaning Laurel. The most well-known representatives of the genus, along with Volcheyagodnik ordinary, relic Altai Wolf (Daphne altaica), artificially derived Borolberry (Daphne cneorum) and Volpeagodnik (Daphne papyracea) from which in Nepal produce not only paper, but also cloth, and rifles. .

Botanical description

Ordinary wolfberry or wolf bast - shrub from 30 to 180 cm high. It has a yellowish-gray wrinkled bark and straight stems. The leaves of the plant are alternate, at the ends of the branches oblong-lanceolate. The flowers are tubular, fragrant, their smell resembles the smell of hyacinth, the petals are dark pink or red, with a nail-like corolla. In spring, they bloom on bare stems, as they are located in the axils of last year’s leaves. This phenomenon is called caulifloria. Fruits of wolf bast - juicy, bright red drupes, covering the stalk and twigs below the leaves.


The wolfberry grows throughout Europe, up to the Mediterranean, but is more common in the north than in the south. In Moldova, wolf's bast is listed in the Red Book, in Kazakhstan and Ukraine it is listed among rare ones. The plant rarely forms thickets, it can be found in coniferous and deciduous forests, along river banks and on mountain slopes.

Preparation of raw materials

Medicinal raw materials in wolfberry serves mainly bark. It is collected before flowering plants, that is, in early spring - in the first half of summer. The bast is cut into thin strips, laid out in one layer in a dry, well-ventilated area and dried. While the bark is wet, it is important to touch it only with gloves, since contact of the wolf bast juice on the skin can lead to boils and ulceration, and during prolonged contact and general poisoning of the body. The fruits of wolf bastard are harvested at the end of the summer. They need special, low-temperature drying.

Chemical composition

Most of the properties of the cubs are due to the content of the gummy poisonous substance Meserein and the glycoside daphene, which suppresses the action of vitamin K. They are in the whole plant.Wolf bark contains resins, wax, fatty oils and gum. In the fruits of the plant is present glycoside coccogne, coumarin, pigments, sugars and essential oils.

Pharmacological properties

Scientists have found that wolf preparations have laxative, antibacterial, hypnotic and phytocidal properties, but their treatment is associated with a high risk. Coumarins daphnin and daphnetin exhibit anticoagulant and antibiotic activity, their sum also showed antitumor properties. Meserein, according to experimental data, is able to exhibit antileukemic activity. Currently, studies are being conducted aimed at identifying the possibility of using daphne as a medicine for thrombophlebitis and an anti-cancer agent. Volodyagodnik is considered a promising plant, whose medicinal properties can still serve as scientific medicine.

Use in traditional medicine

In folk medicine, the wolfberry is still widely used. Decoction and infusion of fruits is recommended as a laxative and antipyretic. Tincture, extract and ointment from the fruit as a tincture of bark, used for ascites and thrombosis, used as a laxative, emetic and anthelmintic, cough, toothache, tumors of the pharynx and esophagus, stomach cancer, dysentery, jaundice, as well as conjunctivitis and ringworm. Outwardly, wolf bark infusion, according to folk healers, should help against neuralgia, sciatica, sciatica, gout, paralysis, polyarthritis and joint pain.

In homeopathy, the remedy from the freshly harvested bark of the Daphne is called Mezereum. It is used mainly for various skin diseases - herpes zoster, wet and scaby rashes, trophic ulcers. This remedy is considered effective for toothache, migraine, and stomach, eye, and joint pain.

History reference

Since ancient times, poisonous plants attracted healers. The wolves are mentioned in Avicenna’s treatise “The Canon of Medicine”. The great scientist recommended various preparations from the wolf for ulcers, depriving, scabs, toothache, poisonous bites. He believed that they "drive black bile and mucous juices", which means they can cure various nervous diseases.

In Russia, daphne served not only as a medicine. Peasant girls smeared the cheeks with juice and those irritated with poisonous substances invariably aleli, corresponding to the canons of beauty accepted in those days. The powder of crushed wolf bark, shot on the night of Ivan Kupala, served as a love potion. Plants were also used to expel cockroaches, flies, and ants from their homes.

A famous botanist, naturalist Peter Simon Pallas paid a lot of attention to wolf bastard. In his book “Journey to different provinces of the Russian state”, published in 1776, he wrote that the plant is used as an emetic and anthelmintic, from the bites of rabid animals and with various boils.


1. O.V. Klimova “Home doctor. Herbal stories, herbal treatment, Moscow, RIPOL Classic, 2011 - 108 p.

2. V.Artamonov, “Wolf's Face”, Science and Life Journal No. 4, 1989 –158 p.

3. P.S. Zorikov, “Poisonous Plants of the Forest,” Vladivostok, Dal'nauka, 2005 - 33 p.

4. “Medicinal plants”, edited by N. Grinkevich. Moscow, High School, 1991 - 394 p.

Distribution area

Daphne common grows in a significant part of Europe, up to the Mediterranean coast, as well as in the Transcaucasus: in Armenia, the northern regions of Iran, Azerbaijan. Find a wolf berry is easy in Russia. Daphne is found in forests of the middle zone, in the Arctic regions, in Western Siberia, right up to Lake Baikal, as well as in the Caucasus region. But its habitat is becoming less extensive from year to year. This is especially true of the southern regions. In Kazakhstan and Ukraine, the common wolfberry is considered a rare plant, and in Moldova, it is considered to be a Red Book.

Daphne prefers mixed and coniferous forests. In deciduous forests is less common. In the south, it can grow in the subalpine zones of the mountains.

The family has about 70 species, which are divided depending on the area of ​​growth. So, there is a Caucasian, Crimean, Alpine wolves. There are species growing in Asia or in the north of the African continent. Many species of wolfberry were subject to selection, acclimatized in different regions.

Symptoms of Poisoning

Volleyagodnik ordinary toxic so that the inhalation of small particles of its bark irritates the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, which leads to sneezing, runny nose, cough. Contact with these particles in the eyes causes conjunctivitis.

Symptoms of Daphne poisoning include salivation, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and blood in the urine. It all starts with burning in the mouth and salivation. Then nausea and vomiting occur, as well as diarrhea. The poisoned person loses a large amount of fluid, suffers from weakness, dizziness, and convulsions may appear. The substance meserin contained in the plant irritates the mucous membranes of the digestive tract so much that bleeding ulcers occur. Other dangerous compounds: daphnin glycoside and oxycoumarin derivatives - disrupt blood coagulation, therefore, blood clots can appear in a person’s vomit, urine, and feces.

Poisoning treatment

In case of poisoning, you should immediately seek medical help. Self-medication is unacceptable, since specific measures are required for removing toxic substances from the body. Even the help of doctors is not always able to prevent cardiac arrest and death.

In folk medicine, there are recipes from wolfberries. They must be used extremely carefully, strictly observing the dosage. Contraindications to their use are childhood and old age, pregnancy, breastfeeding, a weakened body after an illness, heart failure, arrhythmia, tachycardia, any bleeding.

Despite its virulence, the wolfberry is used as an ornamental shrub. Its bright berries become the decoration of garden plots. Admiring them, it is worth remembering the danger they pose, especially for young children.

Watch the video: Daphne - Doucement Official Video (December 2019).