Name: Spherophyza solonetzic
Perennial poisonous herbaceous plant with a short vertical, turning into a long, taproot, and underground horizontal shoots that develop new plants that form thickets. The stems are erect, up to 1 m tall, at the top – appressed-pubescent (pressed-downy), bear regular pinnate leaves, consisting of 13-25 leaflets. Stems and leaves greyish-green. The flowers are red, moth-like, collected in loose brushes of 5-12 pcs. on long peduncles emerging from the axils of the leaves. Blooms in May-July. The fruit is an oval bean.
Distributed in the steppe zone of southern Siberia – the Irtysh regions and the Altai steppe, in Western Siberia, Tuva and Transbaikalia. It grows on wet solonetzes, saline sands, in dry foothill steppes.
Medicinal raw material is the aerial part (grass) collected during flowering or soon after flowering.
The herb contains the alkaloid spherophysin. The drug in the form of a benzoate salt (spherofizin benzoate) has been tested for the treatment of hypertension. This is a powerful symptomatic remedy that gradually lowers blood pressure in stage 1 hypertension. At the 2nd stage, it is less effective. In addition, spherofizin acts like ergot alkaloids, causes an increase in tone and contraction of the muscles of the uterus and, in view of the absence of cumulation, has clear advantages over ergot products. It is used for weak labor, bleeding in the postpartum period and as a means of accelerating postpartum contraction of the uterus. As a uterine remedy, it is also prescribed to women in labor suffering from atherosclerosis and hypertension, when pituitrin is contraindicated.
The internal use of the spherophysis requires great care.
In folk medicine, an infusion of herbs is used as a hemostatic agent.