Steven’s Tar – Steven’s Tar

(Crambe steveniana); Stephen ‘s katran


A perennial herbaceous plant of the cabbage (cruciferous) family. The stem is erect, branched, 60-100 cm tall. The leaves are thin, glabrous, twice-pinnate, with narrow sharp lobes. The flowers are bisexual, regular, 4-petalled, collected in a tassel; petals are white, 5-5.5 mm long and about 4 mm wide. The fruit is a four-sided pod. Blooms in May, June.

Distribution . In the wild, it grows on the steppes and clayey slopes in the foothills of the Crimea and the Kerch Peninsula. In the south of the republic, it is grown as a vegetable plant.

Procurement and storage . Plant roots are used (fresh or preserved), which are dug at the end of the first (if they have reached more than 2 cm in diameter) or second vegetation. In the third year, the plant forms a flowering shoot and after ripening the seeds die with the root. Roots are stored in refrigerators, trenches, basements, vegetable storages; frozen roots retain their taste after thawing.

Chemical composition . The roots contain starch and sugars and mustard glycosides.

Pharmacological properties and use . Katran roots have phytoncide properties, increase appetite, and improve digestion. In traditional medicine, they are used for indigestion, as an anti-scurvy agent and as a substitute for mustards. Katran roots are used fresh and processed (salads, sauces, as spicy additives in pickles and marinades).

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