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Larch

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  • Botanical: Larix europaea
  • Family: Pinaceae
  • Hits: 1968
Larch

Botanical

Larix europaea

Family

Pinaceae

Known as

Lärchtann, Lerbam, Lörbaum, Lorchbaum, Lertanne, Lörtanne, Schönholz

Old Use

manufacturing; medicinal

Parts Used

bark, needle, resin, sprout

Aroma

balsamic, woody

Medicinal

asthma, bronchitis, bladder disease, bladder stones, bleeding, bronchitis, coughs, diarrhea, dry skin, eczema, gallstones, neuralgia, psoriasis, sore throat, skin rashes, wounds, worm

Heart & Circulation

circulation, hemostatic

Respiratory System

allergies, asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, cough, lung weakness, respiratory

Stomach & Intestinal

urinary infections

Skin & Hair

allergies, dry skin, eczema, psoriasis

Properties

astringent, diuretic, stimulant, warming

Description

The larch is a deciduous tree and loses its leaves in the autumn. The shoots are dimorphic, with growth divided into long shoots typically 10–50 centimetres long[citation needed] and bearing several buds, and short shoots only 1–2 mm long with only a single bud.

The leaves are needle-like, 2–5 centimetres long, slender (under 1 cm wide). They are borne singly, spirally arranged on the long shoots, and in dense clusters of 20–50 needles on the short shoots. The needles turn yellow and fall in the late autumn, leaving the trees leafless through the winter.

Larch cones are erect, small, 1–9 cm long, green or purple, ripening brown 5–8 months after pollination; in about half the species the bract scales are long and visible, and in the others, short and hidden between the seed scales.

Those native to northern regions have small cones (1–3 cm) with short bracts, with more southerly species tending to have longer cones (3–9 cm), often with exserted bracts, with the longest cones and bracts produced by the southernmost species, in the Himalayas.

Properties & Uses

Larch has stimulant, expectorant, diuretic and astringent properties. Used externally, it was shown to be helpful in treating chronic eczema and psoriasis. It promotes drainage of mucus, thus being helpful in treating chronic bronchitis. Used internally, Larch is excellent in cases of hemorrhage and cystitis.

Cautions

none known

Distribution

Central Europe.

Constituents

Essential oil, resin acids, Pimarinsäure, pimaric, Pimarolsäure, bitter, succinic acid