Japanese Sophora – Japanese Sophora (harvesting and storage)

Name: Japanese Sophora – Japanese Sophora (harvesting and storage)

Japanese Sophora – Sophora japonica L. Ukrainian name – Japanese Sophora . 

The legume family is Fabaceae (Leguminosae).

For medicinal purposes, buds and fruits are used.

It grows wild in Japan and China. In Ukraine, it is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in settlements, parks, gardens, roadside and shelterbelts in the southern steppe regions, along the entire Black Sea coast. Trees are used for decades, starting from 3-4 years of age.

Japanese Sophora is a tree up to 25 m high with a dense spherical branched crown. The bark of young branches is green, the bark of old branches and trunks is dark gray with longitudinal cracks. The leaves are alternate, pinnate, with 7-17 oblong-oval, pointed, short-petiolate, entire leaflets 2.5-5 cm long. The leaf blades are dark green above, lighter below. Inflorescences -loose panicles up to 30 cm long and up to 15 cm wide. The flowers are irregular, moth-like, 1-1.5 cm long with a fragrant smell ( poisonous! ). The fruits are drooping, fleshy. Oblong beans with inter-seed interceptions, filled with sticky juice. Seeds up to 1 cm long, oval, shiny, brown-black.

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

It is not necessary to harvest similar inflorescences of black locust (white locust) – Robinia pseudoacacia L. and prickly honey locust Hleditshia triacanthos L.

Inflorescences are harvested during the budding period, when the first flowers open at the base of the brush (June-July).

With the help of aerial platforms or ladders, while preserving the decorative effect of the tree, the inflorescences are cut with scissors. It is allowed to collect flowers that fall on asphalt or paper, tarpaulin or matting laid under the trees in advance.

Dry in the shade – under awnings, indoors, in attics with good ventilation with a layer of 2-3 cm on the fabric, stirring occasionally. The end of drying is determined by the fragility of the branches of inflorescences. When shaking the raw materials, the flowers crumble, they are separated from parts of the inflorescence and other impurities.

According to VFS 42 341-74, the raw material consists of buds 3-7 mm long and within 3 mm wide with pedicels up to 4 mm long. The calyx is green, the corolla is pale yellow. The smell is weak. The taste is bitter.

Not more than (percent) is allowed in raw materials: other parts – 3.5, mineral impurities – 1. The content of rutin must be at least 16% (individual samples contain more than 30%), humidity – not higher than 12%.

Packed in double bags weighing 30-40 kg or in plywood boxes of 20-25 kg, lined with paper inside. They are stored in a packaged form on racks in well-ventilated storage facilities, carefully protecting from moths. Storage period up to 2 years.

The fruits are harvested at full maturity at the beginning of the darkening of the seeds. Cut off whole brushes. Dry in well-ventilated rooms or in dryers at 25-30°C, spreading in a loose layer 5-10 cm thick. At the end of drying, the fruits are brittle.

According to FS 42 452-72, the raw material consists of ripe, whole, not cracked fruits up to 10 cm long and 1 cm in diameter, greenish-brown in color. Seeds are brown-black, traditionally underdeveloped. There is no smell, the taste is bitter, the humidity is not higher than 14%.

In raw materials, no more than (percent) is allowed: blackened and unripe fruits – 10, other parts of the plant – 3, parts of other plants – 0.5, mineral impurities – 1.

Packed in bags of 25 kg. Stored in dry, well-ventilated rooms, packed on pallets or racks. Storage period up to 1 year.

The raw material contains 12-17% rutin, which is used as a capillary-strengthening agent for the prevention and treatment of hemorrhages. The wound healing product soforin is obtained from the fruits.


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