The Chestnut, Castanea sativa Mill., Belongs to the Fagaceae family and a typical plant of mountain and hill areas up to 1300 m of altitude.
The Castano is a tree that can reach 35 m in height with slow development that reaches its vegetative splendor around 50 years (they can live over 1000 years) provided with a hard wood with a greyish and smooth bark that tends to crack and become brown with age.
The leaves of the Chestnut are characteristic, petiolate, up to 25 cm long, shiny, with evident parallel veins and markedly toothed margins.
Chestnuts are monoecious plants (that is to say that there are distinct female and male flowers on the same plant): the male flowers are gathered in 10-20 cm long spikes placed at the axil of the leaves while the female ones are made up of single flowers or in groups of 2-3 flowers gathered in a single envelope placed at the base of the male inflorescences that are transformed into a thorny hedgehog that opens into 4 valves containing from 1 to 3 achenes (fruits), those we call "chestnuts" and which we appreciate very much for their very pleasant taste.
The leaves and the bark of the Chestnut are made up of: sugars, lipids, proteins (fruit), mineral salts, vitamins B1 and B2, C.
The leaves and bark are also rich in tannin.
Its properties are: astringent, remineralizing, sedative, stomachic, tonic.
USED PARTS OF THE PLANT
The young leaves of Castango are harvested in April - May.
The bark of the branches is harvested in autumn and spring.
The fruits harvested in autumn.
Both the leaves and the bark can be dried and stored in cardboard boxes.
HOW TO USE IT
The infusion and the decoction of Castango for the inflammations of the airways and diarrhea. Gargling with the infusion of the leaves for the inflammations of the airways.
Having a high nutritional value, the Chestnut is excellent in case of vitamin deficiency and for weakened bodies.
The cooking water of the chestnuts is excellent for rinsing the hair as it gives beautiful reddish reflections.
The crushed pulp of chestnuts is an excellent emollient and lightening mask.
In the kitchen its use is known to all: its fruits (chestnuts) are excellent in any way they are eaten, raw, cooked or as flour.
Chestnut is also known as Marrone, Castangia and Castegna.
Both from the wood and from the chestnut bark, substances used in the dyeing industry are extracted.
The use of chestnut fruits is not recommended for diabetics and liver sufferers.
Considering that all parts of the plant have a high tannin content, it is not recommended to use iron containers for cooking.