The Carpathian region is one of the most difficult from the point of view of the agrarian industry zones in Ukraine. First, the landscape creates difficulties for local farmers; secondly, unpredictable and adverse weather conditions. Amaranth, being a very unpretentious plant, solves many problems of farmers, farmers, livestock breeders, and with them the problems of the food industry and, oddly enough, even medicine. On the benefits of amaranth for residents of the Carpathian territories – in today’s material.
Amaranth as a means of solving agrarian problems of the Carpathian
The proximity of the mountains always creates inconveniences for the local agricultural industry. The higher the mountains and the more often they experience strong elevations, the unpredictable climate. Moreover, this unpredictability extends far beyond the mountain ranges: the hilly areas around the mountains suffer from the difficulties of forecasting weather conditions almost as much as mountain settlements.
The Carpathians, whose height at many points approaches 2000 meters, on the one hand protect the Carpathian region from many cyclones coming from the Mediterranean Sea, and on the other hand form their own microclimate, which significantly affects the surrounding areas. For ten or even centuries, the locals have more or less learned to make fairly accurate short-term forecasts. But with long-term, unfortunately, Karpaty-1 is a lot worse. Among the inhabitants of the Carpathian region, there will be many who will decide what the next year will be, and all of them “work” with almost the same accuracy as the forecasts, that is, with a rather low one.
As a result, agricultural production, especially associated with agriculture, is regularly affected. At intervals of 3-5 years, the crops of cereals and other seed crops partly rot due to heavy rains. Yield losses due to decay can reach 40%. In rare years, producers manage to save 95% of the crop – a very good indicator. The arrival of spring is also characterized by unpredictability: often warming in the Carpathian region begins much later than expected according to forecasts, as a result of sharp temperature fluctuations in the Carpathians. In addition, there are separate locations in the Carpathian zone, where, on the contrary, drought often prevails. This is due to the proximity of the high ridges that enclose these locations, creating in them their own – arid – microclimate.
All this provoked an increased interest in amaranth in the Carpathian region, and quite a long time ago. The first experiments on the cultivation of the then unknown local amaranth population were carried out in 1992. Almost immediately, by 1993, they expanded – although it was not always successful. The reason for this was a lack of information. Farmers got too different varieties of amaranth, requiring, respectively, different growing conditions. But there was no information about specific varieties, so farmers had to rely on the same indicators, supposedly “common” for all species of amaranth plants. Naturally, this did not contribute to the efficiency of cultivation.
But in general, amaranth showed itself well both in conditions of high humidity and in conditions of increased drought, so the experiments continued, and the researchers recorded their observations on different varieties. In 1995, in the village of Yasenitsa-Strong, several different varieties were planted at the “Proba” agro-industrial enterprise, each of which was observed by a group of researchers. In the fall of 1995, the results were summed up, the researchers compared their observations and came to the following conclusions:
Amaranth with dark seeds is more cold-resistant, so it can be grown in those areas of the Carpathian region, where predictions of warming (especially early) are most often not met.
Amaranth with light seeds is more drought-resistant, but Amaranth-2 is able to accumulate a significant amount of moisture without harming itself. For this reason, it was recommended for areas where heavy rains often occur, and for areas where droughts can occur.
Amaranth with dark seeds, amaranth crimson give lower yields, but more unpretentious, so it makes sense to grow them in areas that are characterized by minimal stability of climatic indicators. For areas that are more favorable and stable in terms of weather conditions, amaranth with light seeds and high stems (about 2 m) is recommended, as it gives greater yield.
These recommendations were later repeatedly applied by various agrarian enterprises and were deemed appropriate for the Carpathian region.
In 1996, the peculiarities of cultivating different varieties of amaranth were studied by another group of scientists in the Truskavets district. They were headed by V.Saratovsky, I. Mizernik, S.Landy, and V. Protasov. The researchers, however, focused more on the cultivation of amaranth for the Precarpathian medicine, but they also made their conclusions regarding the cultivation. In particular, they noticed that black amaranth and crimson amaranth grow faster than white seed varieties, therefore in areas where the climate allows it, it is advisable to grow both varieties in parallel to increase the harvest time. The results of the study are published in the article “On the expediency of growing amaranth in the Carpathian region” (“About the success of amaranth in the minds of the Carpathian region”) in the collection “Rehabilitation and treatment in sanatorium-resort conditions” (“Reabilitation and lyubanut in sanatorium-resort hearts” year).
Quite a lot of research on the cultivation of amaranth in the Carpathian region was carried out on the basis of the Lviv Institute of Agriculture. The first of them are dated 1998, but actively continued in the new millennium. A special surge of interest in amaranth among farmers of the Carpathian region was observed during and after the 2003 crop failure.
Amaranth in Prikarpatya medicine
Considerable attention, even more than from the agrarian industry, is paid to amaranth on the part of Prikarpatye medicine. More than half of the research on the medical properties of amaranth in Ukraine was carried out on the basis of the Lvov National Medical University. Danila Galitsky. Such well-known amaranth researchers as Evgeny Zaremba and the whole Zaremba-Fedchishin family, Evgeny Panasyuk and other scientists, who can be read in the material “Amaranth researchers in Ukrainian science”, worked and work here.
Basically, such an interest in amaranth among researchers of the Carpathian region is related to the fact that this region is reasonably considered to be one of the best recreational areas of Ukraine. There are many sanatoriums, rehabilitation centers and recreational facilities. The Carpathian region has long been famous for its good environmental performance, in particular – the composition of the air, which cleans the lungs of the residents of large and / or industrial cities of Ukraine who come here. But most importantly, the Carpathian region is distinguished by a large number of plants that are useful and used in medicine. And amaranth was no exception.
The beginning of the medical history of amaranth in the Carpathians put, oddly enough … cattlemen. More precisely, the researchers, whose practices were later used by their colleagues. It was the herders who spread by DSC_0749 to the Carpathians information that amaranth is a source of not only protein, which is most amino-acid-balanced, but also rare fats for plant products, in particular, squalone-containing fats. In addition, emphasis was placed on a large amount of vitamins in the green mass of amaranth. The herders rather quickly realized that amaranth solves many problems in feeding poultry and livestock that are characteristic of the Carpathian region (and again associated with an unfavorable climate for growing forage plants). As a result, amaranth in the Carpathian cattle breeding quickly spread, along with the spread appeared observations, articles and other conclusions of cattle breeders recorded at the conferences. It was then that they were noticed by the medical workers who came to the conferences.
In rehabilitation centers in the Carpathian region, people with cardiovascular diseases are most common. Slightly less – with gastroenterological problems. Even less often – the rest of the sick and recovering groups. Therefore, it is not surprising that Prikarpatye medical scientists pay particular attention to cardiovascular diseases, then gastroenterological diseases, and then to all the rest. It is not surprising that amaranth became the subject of their close attention: amaranth fats solve many problems with vessels, restore them and facilitate the work of the heart. Amaranth is used for problems with the gastrointestinal tract, and for many others.
Among other things, Prikarpatye can boast of successful treatment of arrhythmias, ischemia, atherosclerosis with the help of amaranth oil. There are also many examples of successful recovery with amaranth after strokes and myocardial infarction. And in some cases, the patient underwent rehabilitation procedures before, but they did not bring such success as proper nutrition with amaranth in the Carpathian sanatoriums. Not without the right physical exertion and other recovery procedures, of course.
However, a significant role amaranth noted by many doctors. Basically – by monitoring the patients who took amaranth oil. Doctors compared their performance with those of past patients who did not take oil. Later, scientists gathered special groups to study the effect of oil on the cardiovascular system. These indicators confirmed the first observations, which were recorded by sanatorium doctors at the recreational bases of the Carpathian region.
According to the results of many years of research, first in sanatoriums, then in private hospitals and institutes, and then at the state level, Carpathian scientists made more than one dozen conclusions and published more than one dozen articles.
Among the first of these scientific works can be called a few studies, which conducted in the distant 1996 Evgeny Panasyuk. Among other things, he investigated the effect of amaranth oil on the human gastrointestinal tract in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease. Observations have shown that amaranth fats almost one and a half times speed up the recovery of the stomach and intestines after treating a disease, as well as contribute to the treatment itself, accelerating blood circulation and strengthening the affected tissues. The results of the study were published in the annual collection of the Lviv Medical University “Experimental Clinical Physiology and Biochemistry” under the title “Integrated use of foodstuffs and foodstuffs in the treatment of the gastroduodenal zone” (“Kompleksno zastosuvannya”) food processing in our amaranth yak food supplements in lukavan gastroduodenal zones (1996).
This study entailed other conclusions. In particular, in the experimental group that took amaranth oil, a marked improvement in liver tissue was noted. Evgeny Panasyuk conducted a number of additional tests that confirmed the conclusion that the oil of this plant can be used as a cytoprotector. The scientist made a report on this at a conference in Truskavets that same year. The results are published in the collection “Rehabilitation and treatment in sanatorium conditions” entitled “The role of the constituent components of amaranth oil in its cytoprotective effect” (1996).
A year later, Yevgeny Panasyuk conducted another study on the properties of amaranth oil together with colleagues – V. Saratovsky, S. Kraevsky and others. A group of scientists found out that amaranth can also be successfully used for inflammations of the urinary system, that is, for cystitis, pyelonephritis, urethritis, etc. The result was an article in the collection of Lviv Medical University called “Application of products of processing of amaranth for diseases of the urinary system” (“Zastuvuvannya products peremobki amaranth with the desires of the Sechidian system (1997).
And at the same time, Yevgeny Panasyuk independently summed up his research on the properties of amaranth in the article “Amaranth is a natural treasury of health” (“Amaranth is a natural health center”, collection “Experimental Clinical Physiology and Biochemistry”, Lviv, 1997).
Amaranth in the Carpathians today
These were the first steps in the distribution of amaranth in the Carpathian territories. In fact, at that time there was not too much information about amaranth in the CIS countries, so the research of Yevgeny Panasyuk and others, no matter how obvious their results may seem now, noticeably agitated the local public. Unfortunately, they were further hampered by their focus on local Carpathian realities, and the Ukrainian language in which they were written. Later, of course, these studies were actively used by other Ukrainian scientists, but by that time the basic properties of amaranth were already well described and known from other sources.
Today in the Carpathian region completely different studies are being conducted – narrower, specialized, point-like. 20 years ago, the appearance of a plant was important for the population, which could solve a number of problems both in agriculture and in medicine. Today, this plant has long been known, and in the Carpathian region – is known very widely, so the goal of scientists is to study its individual properties in specific and fairly narrow cases.
For example, in the Lviv Medical University the year before last, cholesterol biosynthesis was studied under the influence of amaranth oil, more precisely, squalene, tocopherol and other fats contained in it.
The benefit of amaranth for radioactive injuries, chemical burns, etc. is studied separately. It is known that amaranth has a positive effect on tissue regeneration and significantly accelerates it. As a result, it is possible that in the near future, drugs will appear on the basis of Carpathian institutes that will contribute to the recovery of those people in sanatoriums who have come to recover from serious occupational injuries associated with the radiation and chemical industries.
The properties of amaranth as an antioxidant are also being studied – with the aim of applying these properties to specific patients in sanatoria. General studies continue to address the effect of amaranth on the human cardiovascular system. According to the results of research, various nutrition programs and medicinal herbal complexes are created, often individual ones, for people treated in the Carpathian region.
In general, the Carpathian region is one of the most favorable areas of amaranth distribution in Ukraine. There already exists a significant scientific base on amaranth and scientists interested in it. On the other hand, researchers are pushing to study the properties of amaranth problems of the region – and not least the successful solution of many problems with the help of this culture over the past twenty years. Therefore, we can assume that the Carpathian region will continue to saturate the scientific base of Ukraine with amaranth research and promote its dissemination and popularization in the territory of not only Ukraine, but also other countries.