Dyeing gorse (Genista tinctoria L.)

Dyeing gorse is a shrub plant from the Moth family (Papilionaceae).


Low shrubs with a strong woody rhizome and erect twig-like stems. The leaves are simple, lanceolate, entire, on very short petioles, dark green above, glabrous, lighter below; pubescent along margins and midrib with adpressed hairs, with a pair of small subulate stipules at base. The flowers are bright yellow with a moth-like corolla, sitting on slightly pubescent peduncles and collected in a leafy dense apical brush. All 10 stamens are fused. The fruit is a black, naked, slightly bent pod with 5-8 elliptical dark brown seeds. Blooms in May-July. It grows as an undergrowth in light pine forests, in deciduous forests, on the edges, along the slopes, found in the southern part of Belarus.

Contains active substances:

For medicinal purposes, the herb dyeing gorse – Herba Genistae tinctoriae, which is the flowering tops of plants, is used. Contains alkaloids (up to 0.33%), in leaves and stems during flowering up to 0.02% essential oil, and in flowers – 0.04%. The seeds contain the alkaloids anagrin, methylcytisine, and cytisine, which stimulate respiration. Pigments luteolin and genistein were found in flowers.

Medicinal use:

A clinical trial of an infusion of the herb dyer gave positive results in the treatment of diseases of the thyroid gland (its sluggish activity, hardening, hypothyroidism); a powerful vasodilating effect of the herb infusion was also noted. In folk medicine, a decoction of gorse flowers is used for liver diseases, dropsy and lichen; root for hydrophobia, jaundice, malaria, bathe babies.

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