Maruna red – pyrethrum red

A perennial herbaceous plant of the asteraceae (complex-flowered) family. The stems are numerous, erect, almost unbranched, sparsely leafy, 50-70 cm tall. The leaves are alternate, twice pinnate, with linear lobes of the second order; basal and lower stem leaves are petiolate, the rest are sessile. The flowers are in baskets with a tiled wrapper, the leaves of which have a wide membranous dark brown border along the edge; marginal flowers (up to 30 of them) ligulate, dark pink or red, central flowers are tubular, yellow. The fruit is an achene. Blooms in June-July.

Spread. Maruna red grows wild in Yugoslavia, Albania and Greece. In the southern regions of Ukraine, it is grown as a medicinal (insecticide) plant, sometimes it goes wild.

Procurement and storage . Dried flower baskets of maroon (Flores Pyrethri insecticidi) are used for medicinal purposes. They are harvested during the full flowering of the plant, when about half of the tubular flowers have opened in most baskets, with the help of harvesting machines or by hand, plucking with hands or cutting with scissors so that the remains of the stems do not exceed 2 cm. The collected material is spread in a thin layer for drying on the same day in the open air (permitted in the sun), in a well-ventilated room, or in special dryers at a temperature not exceeding 70-80°. The dried material is stored in a dry room in a tightly closed container. The validity period is 1 year.

Chemical composition. The aerial part of the plant, especially the baskets, contains pyrethrins (I and II), cinerins (I and II), essential oil, flavone glycosides, phytosterols, sesquiterpene lactones and fatty acids. Pyrethrins are esters of keto alcohol pyrethrolone and chrysanthemum acids, and cinerins are esters of keto alcohol cinerolone and chrysanthemum acids.

Pharmacological properties and use. Maruna red is used as an insecticide. The insecticidal properties are due to the presence of pyrethrins and cinerins in the plant, which are poisons of contact action. They are not harmful to plants, warm-blooded animals and humans. Powder from flower baskets (pyrethrum) and white spirit tincture (flicide) are used in the fight against bugs, fleas, lice, cockroaches, flies, mosquitoes, pests of vegetable and fruit and berry crops, and against animal parasites.

Medicinal forms and applications. Pyrethrum, phlicide, ointment (1 part of pyrethrum to 3-5 parts of petroleum jelly), 2% extract of pyrethrum (a solution of active substances in transformer oil) and aqueous suspension of pyrethrum (100-300 g of powder are infused for 24 hours in 10 liters of water;

before use, dissolve 30-40 g of soap in the suspension) to treat places where insects gather.

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