Alexandrian laurel. Alexandrian laurel rhizomes and roots
Specification & Spread
Alexandrian laurel rhizomes and roots — rhizomata et radices phlojodicarpi sibirici
Alexandrian laurel — Phlojodicarpus sibiricus (Steph. ex Spreng.) K.-Pol.
Carrot family – Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)
It is a perennial herbaceous plant with a height of 10-40 (70) cm. The rhizome is thick, many-headed, turning into a taproot 15-25 (50) cm long.
The stem is up to 7 mm thick, ribbed and naked. Leaves. The basal leaves are numerous, long-petiolate, up to 30 cm long and 8 cm wide, ovate or oblong-ovate in outline, three times pinnatisfied into linear-lanceolate bluish-green segments. At the base of the stem numerous stalks of dead leaves are preserved. The stem leaves are absent or in the amount of 2-3, with strongly expanded violet-colored sheaths.
The inflorescence is a complex umbrella of 10-25 rays. The rays of the umbrella are white and shaggy, densely covered with thin curly hairs. The cover leaflets are 5-8, early falling, the leaflets of the covers are white-membranous, linear-lanceolate and naked.
The corolla is white.
The fruit is a cremocarp, broadly ovate, up to 8 mm long, naked or pubescent with harsh curly hairs.
It blooms in June - July, the fruits ripen in July - August.
Spreading. It grows in Eastern Siberia (Irkutsk Region, Trans-Baikal Territory). Small isolated areas of the range are in the Krasnoyarsk Territory and Yakutia. The main area of raw material harvesting on an industrial scale is the Zabaykalsky Krai.
Habitat. It is a mountain-steppe plant. It grows on stony soils on the slopes of hills, on high river terraces, in the steppe grass stand, sometimes forming «umbrella» steppes.
The chemical composition of Alexandrian laurel
The rhizomes and roots of Alexandrian laurel contain:
- pyranocoumarins: dihydrosamidine, visnadin, samidin, isosamidine;
- coumarins: umbelliferon, scopoletin;
- furanocoumarins: isoimpertoin;
- essential oil.
Harvesting and storage of raw materials
Harvesting. The raw materials are harvested in the flowering and fruiting phases (June-September), dug by hand with shovels, pickaxes or crowbars, cleared of stones, earth, separated by stalks and leaves (the remaining parts of the stems and leaf petioles should not exceed 1-2 cm). The rhizomes and roots are chopped or cut into pieces 5-7 cm long and each piece is cut lengthwise.
Security measures. 2-3 well-developed flowering or fruit-bearing plants are left per 10 m2, spare young growth.
Drying. It is dried in attics, in well-ventilated areas and under a shed. Drying in the sun is allowed in sunny weather. The raw materials are turn over 2-3 times a day.
External signs of raw materials
The raw material consists of pieces of rhizomes and roots up to 10 cm long and up to 3 cm in diameter.
The surface is wrinkled, lumpy, light gray or brownish grey with peeling cork.
In the break colour is yellowish-white.
The smell is pleasant and fragrant.
The taste is sweetish at first, then bitter and spicy. Numerical indicators of raw materials
Properties and application
Pharmacotherapeutic group. Antispasmodic and vasodilating agent.
The pharmacological properties.
Pyranocoumarins act as an antispasmodic, expanding peripheral vessels more actively than papaverine.
Application: for spasms of peripheral vessels, spastic forms of endarteritis, Raynaud's disease and milder forms of chronic coronary insufficiency.
It is contraindicated in case of individual intolerance, low blood pressure, pregnancy, nursing mothers.