Perennial herbaceous plant of the barberry family 38-50 cm tall with an underground, almost spherical tuber up to 6 cm in diameter. Stems 30-50 cm tall with two tripartitely dissected leaves. One leaf is basal, the other is stem, under the inflorescence is sessile. The flowers are yellow, with 6 petals, the inflorescence is a few-flowered apical simple brush. Blooms in February-March, rarely in April.
Distributed in eastern Transcaucasia. Grows in forests.
Medicinal raw materials are tubers that are harvested in February or early March. The tubers contain 3.5% of alkaloids, among them the alkaloid leontamine was found, which is a colorless liquid, easily soluble in ether, benzene and alcohol. Related species, in particular Eversman’s leontitsa, contain the alkaloids leontamine, leontidin, etc.
pharmacological properties. Gelan products – extracts and infusions of leontitsa – enhance the secretory and motor functions of the gastrointestinal tract, have low toxicity.
Application in medicine. The dry extract of the herb as bitterness was tested in 70 patients with impaired secretory function of the stomach, suffering from chronic diseases of the stomach.
The extract was administered at a dose of 0.5-1 g diluted in a small amount of water. Patients noted an improvement in appetite. The extract did not cause side effects.
Preparations. Powder of yellowish-white color, bitter taste, easily soluble in water, contains within 3-3.5% alkaloids. Available in tablets of 0.5 g and in powder. Take a tablet 20-30 minutes before meals.