A small (up to 1 m tall) evergreen shrub of the boxwood family. The leaves are opposite, entire, leathery, short-petiolate, from ovate to elongated-elliptical, obtuse at the top, sometimes slightly notched, dark green above, lighter below. The flowers are small, unisexual, monoecious, four-membered, with a simple regular perianth, greenish-yellow, gathered in bunches in the axils of the leaves; numerous male flowers are collected in the lower part of the bunch, female (1, rarely 2-3) – at its top. The fruit is a spherical capsule. Blooms (in the south) in March-April.
Distribution . Evergreen boxwood comes from the Mediterranean. On the territory of Ukraine, it is grown in gardens and parks as an ornamental plant.
Procurement and storage . Medicines are made using fresh or dried boxwood leaves (Folia Buxi sempervirentis), which are harvested in spring and summer. Raw materials are dried in the shade. Artificial drying is carried out at a temperature not higher than 45°.
The plant is unofficial .
Chemical composition . Boxwood leaves contain alkaloids (buxin, etc.), essential oil, tannins.
Pharmacological properties and use . Boxwood preparations exhibit hypotensive, antipyretic, antibacterial, diuretic and choleretic effects. Most often, an infusion of leaves is given internally with elevated temperature and inflammation of the biliary and urinary tracts. As an external remedy, boxwood is used for baldness and seborrhea of the head.
Medicinal forms and applications. Internally – infusion (half a teaspoon of dried leaves per glass of boiling water) for a third of a glass 3 times a day.
Externally – 50 g of fresh leaves are infused for 2 weeks in 0.5 l of 45% alcohol and used to rub into the scalp;
10 g of a mixture of boxwood leaves and thyme grass, taken in a ratio of 5:6, is infused for 2 weeks in 1 liter of 60% alcohol and used to rub into the hairy part of the head.
Boxwood contains powerful substances and requires caution when using it. Overdose is dangerous!