Polygala amara L. - Polygalaceae - milkwort, Bitteres Kreuzblümchen

Perennial herb, up to 20cm high, native to Europe; leaves obovate-spatulate, bitter tasting; flowers in terminal racemes, blue or purple, rarely white. The aerial parts are used to make bitter liqueurs.

The herb was used in folk medicine to stimulate the secretion of milk (hence milkwort) and to drive mucus in pulmonary diseases like tuberculosis, chronic bronchitis, pulmonary emphysema, pneumonia and asthma. 'Herba Polygalae cum radice' was officinal in some European countries. The root contains haemolytic saponins. Polygala amara has been confused with P.vulgaris, from which probably could be explained the ineffectiveness of remedies prepared therefrom (P.vulgaris lacks a bitter taste).
[Lehrbuch der Biologischen Heilmittel, Madaus G., 1938]

The bitterness present in aerial parts of P.amara is probably amarelloside (β-(1,3,4-tri-O-benzoyl)-fructofuranosyl-{[β-d-(6-O-acetyl) glucopyranosyl(1→2)] [β-d-glucopyranosyl(1→3)]} α-d-(di-O-acetyl-4,6)glucopyranoside), a very bitter compound isolated from the aerial parts of Polygala amarella (dwarf milkwort, Sumpf-Kreuzblümchen).
[Amarelloside, a bitter tri-O-acetyl tri-O-benzoyl tetrasaccharide from Polygala amarella., Dubois, M. A., Neszmelyi, A., Heubl, G., Fiebig, M., Wagner, H., Phytochemistry, Vol.28(12), 1989, 3355-3359]

Meyer, G.F.W., Flora des Königreichs Hannover, vol.1, t.7 (1842) [Sontag]

Polygala amara, Author: Andreas Kraska CC BY-SA 3.0

polygala_amara_l.txt · Zuletzt geändert: 2017/05/24 16:32 von andreas