Common names: eryngo, flat sea holly
The blue eryngo is a perennial plant which belongs to the Apiales order and to the celery (Apiaceae) family. Its stems are 30-60 cm long, rigid, the upper part is ramified. The shoots are light-grey or yellowish-green. The basal leaves are intact, the upper ones are palmatisect with toothed margins. Its plump, rounded, bluish inflorescences are surrounded by a rigid, spiny collar. It blooms from July until September.
It is mainly found on dry grasslands, pastures or sandy dunes, being the characteristic plant of the drier, loose soils, which warm up easily.
The stems above ground surface (Eryngii plani herba) are collected for medical use during the blooming period, from July to September.
The plant contains significant amounts of triterpenoid saponin, flavonoids (kaempferol and quercetin), polyphenol carboxylic acids, tannins, carbohydrates, organic acids and essential oil.
It is a medicinal plant which has been known since the ancient times. It is also widely used in the traditional medicine. It is known as an expectorant, anti-inflammatory and cough reliever. It is a common ingredient of tea mixtures and syrups which treat cough, upper respiratory tract infections and pertussis.