Name: Rhododendron zhovtiy – yellow rhododendron
Rhododendron yellow (Rhododendron luteum); rhododendron yellow
A small (1-2.5 m tall) bush of the heather family with upright branches. The leaves are alternate, elliptic, lanceolate or obovate, ciliated at the edges, fall off in winter; young leaves are pubescent, old ones are bare. Flowers are bisexual, large, fragrant, collected in umbrella-shaped inflorescences or single; corolla is yellow or orange, irregularly shaped, with a narrow cylindrical tube and a slightly double-lipped bend. The calyx is small, five-parted. The fruit is a multi-seeded capsule. Blooms in May.
Spread. Yellow rhododendron grows mainly in the eastern part of Western Polissia (island location) in wet and wet oak-pine forests.
Procurement and storage . Leaves (Folia Rhododendri lutei), which are collected during flowering of the plant, are prepared for medicinal purposes. The collected raw materials are dried at a temperature of up to 45°; if drying is carried out in the open air, the leaves are hidden indoors at night. 25% of dry raw material is obtained. They are stored in dry and ventilated rooms in the dark and with some caution – as a poisonous plant.
The plant is unofficial .
Chemical composition . The leaves contain tannins (7-18%), glycosides (andromedotoxin, salidroside, ericoline), aromatic alcohol rhododendrin, flavonoids (quercetin, hyperoside), terpenoids, ursolic, citric, chlorogenic and caffeic acids, rutin, hydroquinone, phytosterol, ericuline and vitamin C (120-180 mg %).
Pharmacological properties and use. Yellow rhododendron preparations have astringent, diaphoretic, wound-healing, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. In experiments on animals, it was found that the main active substance of yellow rhododendron – andromedotoxin – exhibits a local irritant and general narcotic effect, affects the mucous membranes, causing their inflammation, has a paralyzing effect, causes bradycardia, lowers blood pressure and suppresses breathing. Erikolin has diaphoretic and narcotic properties. The complex of active substances of the plant exhibits a pharmacological effect similar to the action of digitalis glycosides. In overdose, rhododendron yellow products cause conduction disturbances, ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation, and worm-like movements of the ventricles of the heart. Therapeutic doses do not show side effects, only stomach irritation is possible. In folk medicine, the plant is used for polyarthritis of rheumatic and gouty origin, for arthrosis, bursitis, and radiculitis; in homeopathy – with prostate hypertrophy and acute prostatitis.
Medicinal forms and applications .
Internally – infusion (pour 2 teaspoons of leaves with 2 cups of boiling water, infuse for 15 minutes) drink 2 cups per day in gulps for rheumatism and gout.
Externally – a decoction (100 g of leaves per 5 liters of water, boil for 20 minutes, add boiling water to 10 liters) for a sitting bath with sciatica.