foxglove purpurea – foxglove purpurea

purple foxglove; popular name – thimble grass, thimble, fingertips, thimble. 

Norichnikovye family – Scrophulariaceae.

Leaves are used for medicinal purposes.

In the wild, it is found in Africa, Central and Western Europe along mountain forest slopes, including the Carpathians. It does not grow in the zone of the Ukrainian Carpathians. In Ukraine, it is cultivated on Soyuzlekrasprom state farms, more often in forest-steppe regions. Sometimes grown as an ornamental plant.

Purple foxglove is a biennial herbaceous plant 40-120 cm high with fibrous roots. Stems unbranched, longitudinally furrowed, gray with pubescence. Basal leaves with a winged petiole up to 30 cm long, collected in a rosette, ovate-lanceolate in shape, unevenly crenate along the edge, with reticulate veins sharply protruding from below. Stem leaves are alternate, the upper ones are sessile, ovate-lanceolate, small in inflorescence (bracts). The leaves are dark green above, not often hairy, gray-green below from dense pubescence. The inflorescence is a large, one-sided, many-flowered raceme. Flowers up to 5 cm long with a tubular-bell-shaped, purple, purple or white outside, slightly bilabiate corolla. There are red spots and long hairs in the corolla throat. Stamens 4, two upper ones shorter. Ovary bilocular, style with two stigmas. The fruit is ovoid dry, double-winged box with the remaining five-parted calyx. Seeds up to 0.9 mm long, brown.

Blooms in July – August. The fruits ripen in July-September.

Basal rosette and stem leaves are harvested, reaching at least 10 cm in length from the beginning of flowering to fruiting (July – September). During the growing season, as the leaves grow, they are harvested 2-3 times. Rosette leaves are cut with knives or sickles without petioles (later they are very juicy and slow down drying), stem leaves are cut off by hand. Dry without delay in dryers, spreading a thin layer of 2-3 cm on racks, for 30 minutes at 55-60 °, dry at 40 °. In dry sunny weather, it can be dried in attics under an iron roof or in air dryers, spread out on tarpaulin, paper or matting. Raw materials are constantly stirred, separating yellowed and browned leaves. The end of drying is determined by fragility-leaf petioles.

The yield of dry raw materials is 20-22%. The yield of dry leaves is 7-11 q/ha.

According to the Global Fund – X Art. 277 raw material consists of developed whole leaves with a length of 10-30 cm, a width of up to 11 cm with or without petioles, dark above, grayish green below. The smell is weak, intensifies when soaking. Taste is not determined – poisonous! Humidity is not higher than 13%. Not more than (percent) is allowed in raw materials: browned and yellowed leaves – 1, other parts of the plant – 1, crushed leaves passing through a sieve with holes of 2 mm – 2, organic impurities and mineral impurities – 0.5% each.

Packed in bales of 50 kg, in small quantities placed in cans.

Stored in a group of toxic and potent raw materials packed on racks or pallets in dry, well-ventilated areas. Storage period up to 2 years, with annual re-control.

The leaves contain cardiac glycosides. The main ones are purple glycosides A and B, which break down into digitoxin and gitoxin, as well as steroidal saponins and flavonoids.

Leaves powder, infusion, dry extract, new-galenic products of purified glinosides (digitoxin, gitalene, cordiite) are used as cardiac cardiotonic agents for heart failure, circulatory disorders, and hypertension. Treatment is carried out under the supervision of a physician due to the cumulative properties of glycosides.


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