Galega officinalis (veterinary practice)

Botanical characteristic. Bean family. Perennial herbaceous plant. The root is taproot, weakly branched, with a short multi-headed rhizome. Stems numerous, erect, branched, up to 90 cm high, rarely up to 1.5 m. Leaves with stipules, pinnate, 5-20 cm long. The flowers are numerous light blue or pale purple, collected in dense, axillary racemes. Seeds oblong, smooth, matte, 3 mm long. Blooms from June to August.

Spreading. It grows in the southern regions of the European part of the USSR, in the Caucasus. It occurs along the banks of rivers, reservoirs, among shrubs, along the edges of forests, in meadows, along roads.

Medicinal raw materials. The aerial part of the plant (grass) and seeds are harvested. The grass is cut with a knife, secateurs and dried in the usual way.

Chemical composition. All organs of the plant contain alkaloids. The alkaloids galegin, luteolin, and its glycoside galuteolin were isolated from the seeds; a-1-peganine and 2-3 (a-oxytrimethylene)-quinechzolon-4 were isolated from the grass. All parts of the plant contain saponins, tannins and bitter substances.

pharmacological properties. The activity of the plant is due to the presence of alkaloids. It has been experimentally shown that galegin causes pupil constriction, increases blood pressure, constricts blood vessels, inhibits intestinal motility and increases milk secretion. The alkaloid peganin has anticholinesterase activity – it constricts the pupil, slows down the rhythm and increases the amplitude of heart contractions, lowers blood pressure, enhances the secretory and motor functions of the gastrointestinal tract, and has a ruminatory effect.

Application. Galega preparations are used as a diuretic and diaphoretic, also in the treatment of diabetes in combination with other products. An infusion is prepared from a tablespoon of raw materials in a glass of boiling water (daily dose for calves is approximate).

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