Botanical characteristic. Laconosaceae family. Perennial herbaceous plant, up to 3 m high. The root is thick, smooth, many-headed. Stems are forked, juicy, glabrous, green, sometimes reddish. The leaves are alternate, broadly lanceolate, on short petioles. The flowers are pink or white, collected in inflorescences – cylindrical brushes. Blooms from June to August.
Spreading. It grows in the North Caucasus, in the Crimea. Cultivated in gardens, parks, grows along roadsides, in weedy places, on arable land. Imported to the Soviet Union from the USA.
Medicinal raw materials. Laconos roots are used. They are dug up in the fall, cut off from the above-ground parts, cleaned from the ground and washed in cold water. Dry in the shade in the open air, after cutting it lengthwise into pieces.
Chemical composition. Phytolacin alkaloid, a bitter amorphous substance, an essential oil with a pungent odor and pungent taste, was found in the roots of the plant. The whole plant contains saponins, the leaves are rich in vitamin C, the fruits and seeds are rich in B vitamins and nicotinic acid.
Pharmacological properties and Application. A decoction of the roots has a laxative, diuretic, emetic and antihelminthic effect. It is used to treat peptic ulcers of the stomach and duodenum, with kidney diseases, to expel tapeworms. The calming effect of small doses of tincture from the roots has been experimentally established; large doses cause a violation of reflex activity, up to the appearance of shortness of breath and convulsions. A decoction prepared from 4 g of roots per 200 ml of water can be given to calves as a diuretic, approximately 1 tablespoon 3 times every day.