A small (30-100 cm tall) bush of the rose family. The bark on one-year shoots is whitish, on perennial shoots it is reddish-gray. The leaves are alternate, lanceolate, sharp-serrated, pointed at the top, on shortened shoots, which often turn into thorns, sitting in bunches, on growing ones – more often single; the petals are bright pink, in some cultivars they are white. The fruit is an ovoid-rounded, slightly flattened drupe covered with felt; bone obliquely ovoid-rounded, almost smooth. Blooms in March – May, simultaneously with the appearance of leaves.
Distribution . Steppe almond grows in the forest-steppe (mainly in the south), in the steppe and in the Crimea on the steppes, slopes, among shrubs. Grown as an ornamental plant.
Procurement and storage . The fruits of the plant (Semen Amygdali nanae) are harvested for medical purposes. Fruits are harvested fully ripe, when they begin to turn yellow and fall out of the fruit. They are dried in the sun or in a well-ventilated room. The finished raw material is stored in a dry place, making sure that it is not damaged by rodents. The storage period is 4 years.
The plant is unofficial .
Chemical composition . The core of the seeds contains fatty (20%) and essential oils, amygdalin glycoside (2.5-3.5%), protein (20%), starch, mucilage, choline, asparagine, B vitamins, ascorbic acid, carotene and minerals salt
Pharmacological properties and use . The fruits of steppe almonds are used as raw materials for the production of bitter almond water and fatty oil. The pharmacological properties and use of bitter almond water are the same as those of bitter almond water obtained from common almonds. Fatty oil obtained by cold pressing, suitable for food, is considered a good seasoning for salads.
Medicinal forms and applications . Internally , 10-20 drops of bitter almond water per half glass of water are used several times a day as an antitussive and for gastralgia (the largest single dose is 2 g, the largest daily dose is 6 g).
Externally – a mixture (in equal parts) of bitter almond water, lime water and glycerin for lotions and washing is used for urticaria and bedsores (as a local sedative).