Useful information

Sophora japonica: medicinal properties

Sophora Japanese in Moscow

This plant is quite often found in the south of the European part of Russia and in Western Europe as an ornamental plant. Almost all Central European botanical gardens or landscape gardening ensembles have at least a couple of luxurious specimens that attract attention with their magnificent forms.

Sophora Japanese (SophorajaponicaL.) (in foreign sources - Japanese Styphnobium (Styphnolobiumjaponicum (L.) Schott) Native to China, traditionally grown near temples in Japan and Korea. It is a showy deciduous tree of the legume family. (Fabaceae) with a wide crown, up to 25 m high. The bark of old trunks is dark gray, with deep cracks. Young shoots are greenish-gray, short pubescent. Leaves are pinnate, 11-25 cm long. Flowers 1-1.5 cm long, fragrant, in large, loose end panicles, reaching 20-30 cm in length. Corolla moth-type, yellowish-white. Fruits are fleshy bare beans, 5-7 cm long, with deep constrictions between seeds, filled with yellowish-green sticky juice. Unripe pods are green, ripe reddish. Each bean contains 2-6 dark brown seeds. Blooms in July-August; fruits ripen in September-October and stay on the tree all winter. In central Russia, it grows into a small tree or shrub, does not bloom.

Medicinal properties

For medicinal purposes, flowers and buds are used, which are collected at the beginning of flowering, unripe beans, the seeds of which are just beginning to darken, and the bark, harvested in May-June.

Flowers contain flavonoids, primarily rutin (more than a third), quercitin, iso-rhamnetin, as well as lectins, triterpene glycosides. Flowers were widely used to isolate rutin (now buckwheat herb is used for this purpose), and in folk medicine - as an antihemorrhagic agent, that is, to strengthen capillaries and prevent bleeding, something like natural ascorutin, only without ascorbic acid. In the medical literature, anti-inflammatory, wound-healing, hypotensive, antispasmodic, antipyretic and strongly pronounced antioxidant effects are mentioned, for which flavonoids and polyphenols are responsible. In terms of the strength of the protective effect on the vessels of the brain, Sophora preparations are comparable to Ginkgo. Chinese researchers found a pronounced positive effect in patients after hemorrhagic stroke - edema decreased and bleeding stopped.

Decoctions and alcoholic tinctures of flowers and buds are prescribed for trophic ulcers both internally and externally, with prolonged use of anticoagulants, including acetylsalicylic acid to prevent bleeding, this is a good prophylactic agent together with angioprotectors for varicose veins. Sitting baths with a decoction and simultaneous ingestion of tincture or decoction 3 times a day helps with hemorrhoidal bleeding.

In traditional Chinese medicine, where it is one of the 50 most sought-after remedies, collected at the beginning of flowering and dried flowers (Huaihua) are used for bloody diarrhea and hemorrhoids, for gynecological bleeding, nosebleeds, redness of the eyes, headaches, flies in the eyes and dizziness - in general, those symptoms that are associated with poor circulation and poor vascular health.

But the fruits in China were harvested in the winter, already ripe. They contain maltol, genistein, fatty acids, β-sitosterol, kaempferol, triterpenes. Under the name Huaijiao, they are used for the same diseases as flowers. They contain 8 flavonoids, including the valuable compound rutin. In addition to rutin, the following have been found: kaempferol-3-sophoroside, querpetin-3-rutinoside, and genistein-2-sophorabioside. According to A.P.Efremova, infusion of fruits is prescribed simultaneously with vitamin C for impotence associated with dysfunction of the male genital organs, as well as with secondary (hypogonadotropic) hypogonadism.

Dosage form and dosage

Bean tincture 50% alcohol (1: 1). Pour the chopped freshly picked fruits with alcohol, leave for 10 days, squeeze, strain. Take 10 drops to 1 teaspoon 4-5 times a day.

The question arises - why should it be poured with alcohol? Simply because the flavonoids with P-vitamin activity contained in this plant are best soluble in a water-alcohol mixture.

External use of Sophora preparations in the form of compresses and lotions is a good wound healing agent.

In Chinese medicine, the bark of the trunks is used in the treatment of orchitis.

There is information that Sophora preparations have a positive effect in hypertension, however, this property has a downside - hypotensive patients with prolonged use can feel weakness and drowsiness, which is associated with a decrease in pressure.

Interestingly enough, flavonoids dye fabrics, especially silk, yellow and sophora was used under the name “Wai Fa” as a dye for silk fabrics.

Another very interesting from a medical point of view and also a Chinese species - yellowing sophora (Sophora flavescens). Under the name Kushen, they use roots that are dug up in spring or late autumn. They are washed, cut fresh into washers and dried. They contain quinolizidine alkaloids (martin, oxymartin), isoflavones, phenolic acids, triterpene glycosides, β-sitosterol. They are used for all kinds of skin diseases, up to leprosy, as well as for Trichomonas infections.