This article was translated by Angela Iancu!
Identification elements: The plant: annual herbaceous species, upright, 20-40 (60) cm tall; the root: fibrous and fusiform; the stem: very branched, bladed with rare hairs; the leaves: the lower ones 2-3 times finely divided, the upper ones simply divided, with linear leaves, 1-2 mm wide and 2,5-4 cm long; the flowers: spurred, arranged in whorls, colored in violet-blue, on the inside with 2 nectaries, 8-10 stamina and monocarpellary ovary; fruits: glabrous three angled follicles, dark brown, with rough surface.
Flowering: VII - VIII.
Raw material: Flores Calcatrippae are usually colored in bluish-violet, rarely pink or white, 2-3 cm long, with the perianth having the petals finely pubescent, with a spur and a 1 cm long petiole. There is no smell, the taste is bitter, unpleasant. The raw material must be colored in dark blue.
Ecology and distribution: This species is one of the typical crop weeds, especially in potatoes and wheat crops, in the plain and hill area. It is distributed throughout the country, especially in the west part and Transylvania.
Harvesting: The flowers are harvested in the months of July-August, using two methods: cutting the flowers directly in the field; harvesting the whole plant, drying it in bunches and after that cutting the flowers.
Also, it can be harvested the flowers from the species D. orientale, which have the perianth colored in violet, the spur shorter and the stem un-branched. The product is named violet Flores Calcatrippae unlike the product from the base species called blue Flores Calcatrippae. The product will be harvested, dried and packaged separately.
Preparing the product for conditioning: After cutting the plant, the remaining of leaves and stem are removed. The flowers are dried in thin layers on framework or paper in barns or attics. If the plants were harvested as a whole, these are dried tied in bunches and hang from nails. Artificially, the drying is done at 35-40°C. The drying efficiency is 3-4/1.
The technical conditions for reception require that the plants have the petiole under 1 cm long; max. content of impurities: discolored flowers – 2%, petioles longer than 1 cm – 1%, foreign organic matter – for the blue ones 1%, for the violet ones 2% and mineral max. 0,5% in both cases, maximum humidity 12%.
Chemical structure: Delphinine, a glycosidic anthocyanin of blue color, a yellow coloring substance, a campheron glycoside. Through hydrolysis, the delphinine breaks into two molecules of glucose, two molecules of p-oxybenzoic acid and one molecule of delphinidin. Besides these substances, the flowers contain alkaloids of aconitinic type in small quantities, which give the plant its toxicity (decosyn, licoctonine, delphelatine etc.).
Pharmacodynamic action – therapeutic uses: Due to the small quantities of alkaloids and other compounds resulted from hydrolysis, the product has arterial hyportensive and bradycardic properties. It has limited use in phytotherapy.
In the traditional medicine it has been used as an infusion or alcoholic extract in affections like gout, bronchic asthma, kidney problems etc. The flowers can be used as a vegetal colorant.