Bogbean is a perennial plant, small in size (10-20 cm), with a long, thick, creeping root, raised at the top. Leaves on long stalks, 17-30cm, leaves trilobed. Flower stems thick and without leaves. The flowers are white or pale pink, on average 1-2 cm in diameter, located at the top of the stem, in a spike-like inflorescence. Blooms in May-June. The fruits ripen in July-August.
For medicinal purposes, the leaves of the Bogbean are collected. The medicinal drug is collected after flowering, July-August. The collected leaves are twisted in the fresh air, after which they are dried in a shady and well-ventilated place, but it is better not to exceed a temperature of 50C in forced dryers. The drug can be stored for 2 years.
Medicinal properties of the plant are provided by bitter-iridoid glycosides: loganin, sveroside, loganetin, foliamentin, meniatin, meliatin, digydrofoliamentin, mentiafolin. The leaves also contain flavonoids (rutin, hyperoside and trifolin), alkaloids (gentianin, gencyanidin, gentianibetin), tannins (3-7%), triterpenoids (betulin, betulinic acid), vitamin C, pectin substances, choline, saponins, macro and microelements (accumulate manganese and selenium). In the roots - inulin, bitter substance meliatin, tannins, betulinic acid, saponins, pectin substances and alkaloid derivatives. The plant contains a significant amount of iodine, and steroids (alpha-spinasterin, stigmasten-7-ol), coumarins (scoparone, brailin, scopoletin), flavonoid 3-galactoside kaempferol have also been found in the surface part of the plant.
Preparations of Bogbean , as an infusion or tea, are used to treat the liver and biliary tract. In addition, the bitter substances in the plant irritate the receptors of the tongue, which simulates the increased release of gastric juice, which is useful for treating gastritis with low content of gastric juice, as well as for stimulating appetite and digestive processes.
Bogbean drug is used in various mixtures, with the following meaning: appetite-stimulating, sedative, bile-repelling, urine-repelling and mild diarrhea-promoting drug mixtures.
The plant has also gained recognition in folk medicine and is widely used, especially by peoples living in the northern part of the globe. The properties of the plant are used to treat malaria, hemorrhoidal bleeding, pulmonary tuberculosis, cough, liver diseases, gall bladder and biliary tract. It is also used as a laxative and anti-helminthic agent.
, less commonly, but also used as a fever-reducing, wound-healing and anti-allergy remedy.