A perennial herbaceous plant of the poppy family with orange milky juice and an unpleasant smell. Stems are erect, up to 2.5 m high. The leaves are long-petioled, alternate, finger-bladed, large (20-30 cm long), gray-green above, almost white below, with prominent veins. The flowers are pink, with a pleasant smell, collected in long (30-40 cm long) apical panicles. The fruit is a box. Blooms in July – August.
Spread. Small-fruited macleat grows wild in Central China. It is grown as a medicinal plant on the territory of the former USSR.
Raw material . The aerial part of the plant is used as a raw material for the production of alkaloids.
Chemical composition . Maclea small-fruited grass contains 0.78-1.28% of the total amount of alkaloids, including sanguinarine, chelerythrine, protopine, alocryptopine and others.
Pharmacological properties and use. The biological activity of maclea is explained by the presence of a certain amount of alkaloids in the plant. Sanguinarine and chelerythrine alkaloids play the most active therapeutic role. The sum of the bisulfates of these structurally related alkaloids is used as a medicinal product known under the name sanguyritrine. It exhibits antimicrobial activity against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and pathogenic fungi, and has a detrimental effect on trichomonads. Considering this, the use of the drug is indicated and gives a good therapeutic effect in the treatment of lesions of the skin and mucous membranes caused by yeast-like fungi and mixed flora, and in the case of difficult-to-heal infected wounds and ulcers. A burning sensation is possible with local application of sanguyritrine. To avoid this side effect, the product is diluted or a 0.5% solution of novocaine is added to it. Sanguirithrine also exhibits anticholinesterase activity. It is prescribed for children’s cerebral palsy, myopathies, spastic paresis of the facial nerve, progressive muscular dystrophy and other neurological pathologies. When taking the product inside, nausea, vomiting and stomach pain are possible. In this case, the use of the product is stopped. Sanguirithrin is contraindicated in epilepsy, hyperkinesis, bronchial asthma, angina pectoris, and liver and kidney diseases.
Medicinal forms and applications . Sanguiritrinum is taken orally at 0.005-0.01 g 2 times a day after meals in tablets (up to 3 tablets per day). The duration of the treatment course is 20 days. Sanguiritrin is prescribed to children according to the above scheme, but in smaller doses (no more than 0.001 g per 1 year of life per day in 2 doses).
Externally, sanguyritrine is used in the form of a 1% liniment (applied to ulcers and wounds with dressings daily or after 1-2 days;
applications for stomatitis of various origins 2-3 times a day;
lubrication of the affected areas of the body 1-2 times a day in case of skin diseases) and in the form of 0.2% alcohol or 1% water solutions (washing, wetting tampons in otitis, periodontitis, etc.