The spurge laurel is a plant that reaches 30 to 40 inches high. Its stem has practically no branches and leaves are mainly distributed along the upper part of the plant and are year-round, are lanceolate, have no hair and dark green. The stem is covered by a brown crust that can be split quite easily.
This plant is native to Europe and western Asia. One grows in forests, ravines and hillsides, limestone soils being the most suitable for this. In Spain can be found throughout the Pyrenees and mountains in the north, still very rare to find in the south of the peninsula.
It usually begins to flower during the winter, lasting until the spring bloom in many areas. Its flowers are very small, have a greenish yellow color and are grouped in clusters, have a tubular calyx with eight stamens inside.
The fruit has soft, rounded shape is not very large.
This plant is harvested the leaves, fruit and bark. Some of the leaves put out to dry, but not all, because you can use for a green and dry for other applications.
It consists of a toxic resin called mezereína and also contains coumarin and daphnin, the latter being a substance that is used to prepare a dye that allows dye wool yellow.
It's a very dangerous plant, as it is composed of several toxic substances. There have been many cases of severe poisoning from eating parts of it. Therefore, do not use any ready made home of this plant for their own account provided they are used should be by prescription. The toxic effects that may occur are very dramatic: it begins with an itch in the mouth which then spreads to the throat, then there are stomach pains and often accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea, to finish with respiratory distress , and can even cause death from collapse.
Greek doctors used it as a laxative, emetic and vesicant. Currently used in homeopathy. As she prepares a tincture of fresh bark is applied to cure skin diseases and various inflammations of the mucous. Its use should be external.
The leaves and fruits are considered as a purgative and inflammatory crust.
Juice. Grains are crushed to prepare a fruit juice that is used to relax the belly.
Cook. Water is boiled and added green or dried leaves. This preparation is drunk to induce vomiting.
HABITAT: Calcareous areas of the Pyrenees
PART USED: Leaves, fruits and bark
CASTILIAN: Lauréola macho
CATALAN: Senet de pagesos
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