Larkspur field

Ranunculaceae – Ranunculaceae.

Popular names: spur, sokirki.

Parts Used: Flowers.

Pharmacy name: larkspur flowers – Calcatrippae flos (formerly: Flores Calcatrippae).

Botanical description. An annual plant growing up to 45 cm in height, with a tap root and an upright, branched stem. Basal leaves have short petioles, stem leaves are mostly without petioles. The flowers are traditionally bright purple, less often reddish or completely white, collected in a loose few-flowered raceme; sepals petaloid. All flowers have a thin straight spur. The fruits are solitary hairless leaflets. Blooms from June to August. The homeland of larkspur is Europe, the Caucasus and Asia Minor. In America, she took root as a “newcomer.” In Germany, it is quite common in well-fertilized fields (weed), along roadsides and wastelands, preferring calcareous soil.

Collection and preparation. Flowers are harvested without pedicels from June to August and dried in a ventilated shaded place. With artificial heating, the temperature must not exceed 40°C. Coloring is retained only by those pharmaceutical products that are without access to light and moisture.

Active ingredients: anthocyanin glycosides and flavonoids.

Healing action and application. In folk medicine, the use of larkspur tea as a mild diuretic has been known since ancient times and is still known. There are also numerous blood-purifying tea blends, including those with larkspur, which allegedly help to acquire a slim figure. I think that there is no reason to expect a curative effect from larkspur flowers, but they can do a good job in improving the appearance of medicinal products, especially since their blue is more persistent than, say, the blue of cornflower flowers. Improvements in the appearance of tea blends are to be welcomed, as teas that are pleasing to the eye are more enjoyable to drink, especially in long-term treatments.

Side effects. There is no reason to fear side effects when drinking tea from larkspur flowers, but it should be noted that its leaves, stems and roots contain poisonous di-terpenes.

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