The dogwood, whose scientific name is “Cornus mas”, is a deciduous shrub that belongs to the Cornaceae family.
It is a species that originated in the old continent, but also in Africa and Asia Minor and has the particular characteristic of developing spontaneously within the clearings of broad-leaved woods.
The dogwood plant is grown, more than anything else, for ornamental purposes, without forgetting the possibility of using fruits.
It is a shrub that has a completely slow development and which, once it reaches adulthood, can reach a height of 5-7 meters.
The first branches of the dogwood tree already branch off very close to the ground and then grow in such a way as to guarantee a rounded habit.
The flowering of the dogwood occurs, in most cases, in the period between the end of the winter season and the beginning of the spring one: the flowers have the characteristic of being plumed and yellow in color.
Towards the end of spring, the drupes also appear, that is, fleshy berries with a rounded shape which, once fully ripe, have the characteristic of becoming red, almost like cherries.
The dogwood is a small tree that has the particular characteristic of developing very well in all those areas in dim light, even if it must be said that it prefers rather sunny positions.
Dogwood is a rustic plant that tolerates both summer heat and winter frosts very well.
As for watering, the dogwood plant needs to receive water quite frequently (at least once a week from March to September), especially the younger plants, while the older ones do not need frequent watering and can also count on a good tolerance against some periods of short drought.
The dogwood plant is characterized by preferring rich, loose and well-drained soils.
During the autumn and winter seasons, it is possible to bury an excellent quantity of organic fertilizer right at the foot of the dogwood.
Inside the dogwood (especially in the bark and fresh fruits) we can find mucilage, tannins, malic acid and sugars.
The bark of the dogwood is characterized by being extremely rich in tannins and, as is also typical of these plants, it has astringent, internal and external, anti-diarrheal and febrifugal properties.
The same characteristics can also be referred to the fresh fruits of the dogwood, which are much more pleasant to consume.
There is the possibility of consuming fresh fruits and you can drink the juice obtained from it, but you can also make excellent decoctions and decidedly palatable preserves.
In particular, the jam is extremely appreciated by children and is very useful for fighting diarrheal manifestations.
Dogwood can also be an excellent facial tonic: in fact, you can use a preparation by pouring two tablespoons of bark in half a liter of cold water and boiling for at least ten minutes. Filter the mixture and then use in the morning and evening.
Furthermore, it can also be useful for carrying out a febrifugal action: you will have to pour a teaspoon of bark into a quarter of a liter of cold water and then boil for at least ten minutes: you will have to filter, perhaps sweeten with some honey and then drink 2-3 cups a day.
Dogwood is also effective and useful in hemorrhoids, as well as effectively counteracting colitis, especially in the form of infusion.
Dogwood berries are mainly used in cooking for the preparation of excellent jams.
The dogwood bark, on the other hand, is characterized by being decidedly useful for the preparation of a decoction that can be extremely effective if used as an intestinal astringent and as a febrifuge.
This decoction can be prepared after putting 2 grams of dried and chopped bark in a cup of water: it will be necessary to wait for complete boiling, for at least ten minutes then, and then let the mixture rest until it is cooled for good.
It is recommended to drink no more than three cups of dogwood decoction a day.
As for the fruits, it must be emphasized that they too have astringent properties and there is the possibility of consuming them fresh or in jam.
You can safely prepare a decoction, which is obtained after putting 5 grams of berries in a cup of boiling water.
Subsequently, you will have to boil the mixture for at least five minutes and then take a few tablespoons throughout the day.
You can find on the market different products based on dogwood, such as liqueur, jam or sauce, which can, however, also be prepared at home, with a little familiarity with the stove and patience.