Golden Banner

Golden Banner

Golden Banner

Golden-Banner extract

Specification & Spread

Golden Banner herb — herba thermopsidis lanceolatae
Golden Banner seeds — semina thermopsidis lanceolatae
Golden Banner — thermopsis lanceolata r. Br.
Bean family — fabaceae
Other names: thennopsis, thermopsis.

It is a perennial herbaceous plant up to 40 cm tall with a long, creeping rhizome.
The stems are simple or branched, grooved, covered with soft hairs.
The leaves are alternate, trifoliate, short-petiolate, with two large stipules; the young leaves folded along the vein. The stipules are lanceolate, almost half as long as leaflets, pubescent with adpressed hairs. The leaflets are oblong or oblong-obverse-lanceolate 30-60 mm long, 5-12 mm wide, almost naked above, covered with adpressed hairs from below.
The flowers are large, moth type, with a yellow corolla, gathered in whorls of 3, located in the axils of small bracts of the leaves, form a sparse final brush reaching 20 cm in length.
The fruit is a flat, oblong-linear bean, straight or slightly arched, 4–9 cm long.
The seeds are almost kidney-shaped, greenish-black with a bluish bloom.

It blooms in June – July, the fruits ripen in August – September.

Spreading. It is spread in the steppe and forest-steppe zones of Western and Eastern Siberia, Northern Kazakhstan; in the European part of the country is found only in the Volga region, the Orenburg region and in Bashkiria.

Habitat. It grows on solonetzic and sandy soils, in steppes, in damp meadows, along slopes, sometimes as a weed in crops.


In the aerial part of Golden Banner, there is a sum of alkaloids derived from quinolizidine (up to 2.5%):

  • thermopsy,
  • homotermopsin,
  • pahikarpin,
  • anagirin,
  • N-methylcytine and others,
  • and phenolic acids and their derivative – glycoside thermopsilantsin,
  • flavonoids,
  • saponins,
  • tannins,
  • tar,
  • mucus,
  • traces of essential oil.

In seeds, cytizine alkaloid prevails.

Harvesting and storage of raw materials

Harvesting. Golden Banner is harvested in the phase of budding – the beginning of flowering. You can harvest both flowering plants and vegetative shoots without flowers. The workpiece is stopped as soon as the first fruits appear, whose presence is unacceptable. The herb is cut with a sickle or garden knife at a height of 3-5 cm from the soil surface.
The seeds of Golden Banner are harvested after they have fully matured. The beans are cut by hand or mowed plants, and then dried in the sun. The dried raw materials are threshed, the seeds are milled. All harvesting and drying of seeds are produced in respirators.

Security measures. The herb harvesting at one place can be carried out annually for several years, since, subject to the rules of harvesting, Golden Banner grows well after cutting and does not experience noticeable oppression.

Drying. The herb is dried in the sun, and in inclement weather – under a canopy, in attics or in dryers with artificial heating at a temperature of 50-60 ºС.
Due to the strong toxicity of the whole plant, herb harvesting, as well as all the work on drying, packaging, etc. should be made with safety dressings (or respirators), wash hands thoroughly after work.

External signs of raw materials

Whole raw materials.

Whole or partially crushed stems with leaves and flowers.
The stems are simple or branched, grooved, slightly pubescent, up to 30 cm.
The leaves are alternate, trifoliate, on short petioles (4-7 mm), with oblong or oblong-lanceolate leaves 30-60 mm long, 5-12 mm wide; from above almost bare, covered from below with adpressed hairs.
The stipules are lanceolate, almost half as long as leaflets, pubescent with adpressed hairs.
The flowers are gathered by whorls in sparse apical brush. The calyx is bell-shaped, pentadent with unequal teeth, trimmed with adpressed hairs. A moth corolla, 25-28 mm long, upper petal (flag) with an almost rounded limb, at the apex with a deep and narrow notch; two side lobes (wings) are only slightly shorter than the flag; lower accrete petals (boat) 1.5-2 times as wide as wings. There are 10 stamens, all are free; there are 1 pistil with long column and silky-pubescent ovary. The colour of the stems and leaves is greyish green, the flowers are yellow.
The smell is weak, peculiar. The taste is not determined (!).

Milled raw materials.

The pieces of stems, leaves and flowers of various shapes, passing through a sieve with holes of 7 mm diameter.
The colour of the stems and leaves pieces is greyish green, the flowers are yellow.
The smell is weak, peculiar. The taste is not determined (!).
The powder passing through a 0.16 mm sieve.

The colour is greyish green. The smell is weak, peculiar. The taste is not determined(!).
The seeds are hard, smooth, shiny, somewhat flattened, kidney-shaped. The length is from 2.5 to 5.7 mm, the thickness is from 0.5 to 3 mm. The seed colour is black, rarely brownish grey and dark grey. The smell is absent. Taste is not determined (poisonous!).

Other types of Golden Banner Turkestan thermopsis

Turkestan thermopsis (Thermopsis turkestanica Gand.) is close to Golden Banner and is often regarded as its subspecies. It differs more powerful, branched stems, narrow-lanceolate leaves and strongly arcuate bent aside fruits.

It grows in the mountains of Tien Shan (the main area of procurement – Northern Kyrgyzstan).

It is used on a par with Golden Banner.

Alterniflorous thermopsis (Thermopsis alterniflora Regel et Schmalh.) – is an endemic species of Central Asia, harvested in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.
It differs from Golden Banner by a higher (50–90 cm) stem and wider leaves, 25–40 mm long, 5–25 mm wide. Inflorescence – apical brush 3–9 cm long, bearing from 5 to 20 and larger yellow flowers. The flowers are arranged alternately, which is the main distinguishing feature of this species. The herb of alterniflorous thermopsis contains up to 3% of the amount of quinolizidine alkaloids, including 0.64-1.2% of cytisine. The herb of alterniflorous thermopsis (Herba Thermopsidis alterniflorae concisa) is harvested in the budding and flowering phase, then the grass is crushed and dried in the sun. The raw materials are stored on list B, the shelf life is 3 years.

The raw materials are used to produce cytisine alkaloid similar to the seeds of Golden Banner.

Properties and application

The herb of Golden Banner was proposed in 1933. M.N. Varlakov as an expectorant for the replacement of imported ipecac.

Due to the content of saponins and alkaloids, Golden Banner has:

  • combined effect on the respiratory system.

Herbal preparations of Golden Banner:

  • excite respiratory and
  • stimulate emetic center.

Golden Banner has:

  • pronounced expectorant effect (due to thermopsy alkaloid), manifested in increased secretory function of bronchial glands, increased activity of the ciliary epithelium and accelerated evacuation of the secret, increased tone of the smooth muscles of the bronchi through the central vagotropic effect.

Cytizin belongs to H-cholinomimetics (gangliostimulants) and, due to the tonic effect on the respiratory center, is considered as:

  • respiratory analeptic.

The characteristic of the action of cytisine is:

  • respiratory stimulation associated with reflex stimulation of the respiratory center by enhanced impulses from the carotid glomeruli.

Simultaneous stimulation of the sympathetic nodes and adrenal glands leads to:

  • increase blood pressure.

Application of Golden Banner 

Golden Banner herb in powder, infusion, liquid and dry extracts is used as an expectorant for:

  • chronic tracheitis,
  • bronchitis and
  • bronchopneumonia,
  • as well as with catarrhal phenomena of the upper respiratory tract and oropharynx, accompanied by the formation of difficult to separate products of inflammation.

The seeds of Golden Banner are the raw material for obtaining the cytisine alkaloid.
It is used as a means of stimulating the respiratory center.
It is appointed for the purpose of disaccustoming from smoking. reduces craving for smoking and relieves the effects of smoking cessation for smokers.
The action is due to the excitation of central H-cholinergic receptors (replacement of a strong drug with a weaker one) and similar to the mechanism of action of lobeline and anabasine.


The preparations are contraindicated in:

  • gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer,
  • organic pathology of the cardiovascular system. The treatment must be carried out under the supervision of a physician. In case of overdose, nausea, vomiting, dilated pupils, increased heart rate, which requires discontinuation of the preparation.