Siberian larch

A large coniferous tree with a straight, conically thickened trunk in the lower part, covered with grayish-brown bark, with soft light green needles that fall in winter. The plant is monocot. Cones are small, ovoid, with tightly closed scales before maturation, strongly protruding after maturation. Tree up to 30-40 m high. Lives up to 500-700 and even 900 years.

Distributed in Western and Central Siberia to Lake Baikal, Altai. Often forms continuous arrays.

Medicinal raw materials are needles, resin, bark, young shoots and buds, which are harvested in the spring.

The needles contain an essential oil consisting of pinene, barneol and bornyl acetate, ascorbic acid, an adhesive; bark – tannins, gum, catechins, flavonols, anthocyanins, organic acids; the composition of resin includes essential oil and rosin (solid resin), almost entirely consisting of abietic acid.

In folk medicine, a decoction of young shoots in milk is prescribed orally for coughing, chronic bronchitis with purulent sputum, kidney stone disease, flatulence, as a remedy for tapeworms and as a laxative. Water infusion, decoction of needles – from hypertension and as a powerful antiscorbutic agent. Outwardly – as an irritating and distracting agent; larch turpentine (“Venetian turpentine”) or ointments from it are used for rubbing in rheumatism, gout, muscle inflammation, neuralgia and as an antimicrobial and deodorizing agent for bronchitis, abscesses, gangrene of the lungs, catarrh of the upper respiratory tract, sometimes recommend inhalation.

In folk medicine, bark and shoots are used in the form of hot infusions for hernia and heavy periods.

Turpentine compresses covered with a hot heating pad are used for sciatica and sciatica. With toothache, a turpentine compress is applied to the cheek, opposite the affected tooth. Gum and larch glue are used as a coating. Baths from the infusion of fresh branches are useful for rheumatism and gout.

Pine needles can be collected all summer, but it is most effective at the end of June and at the end of August – it contains a maximum of ascorbic acid.

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