Forking Larkspur is an annual plant with a branched, erect, sparsely hairy stem. The plant varies in height from 25-70cm. Leaves complex, many times divided into linear parts. Lower leaves on petioles, higher sessile. Flowers large (<4cm dia.), collected in liquid inflorescences, bright purple or sky blue. The flower consists of 5 petals. The plant blooms starting from June and continues until the end of July, then the fruits begin to ripen.
Fruit - glabrous, up to 15 mm long. The seeds are ovoid, black-brown in color, covered with scales of a thin film. Forking Larkspur reproduce only by seeds - one plant can produce up to 4000 seeds.
The plant is poisonous! However, for medicinal purposes, they collected the above-ground part of this plant - stems, leaves, flowers and seeds. The above-ground part of the plant is harvested during its flowering (June-August). The plant is rich in alkaloids, so they are collected in rubber gloves. The plant is dried in sieve bundles or spread on sieves. Dried drug is stored in paper bags away from hard plants for up to 2 years.
The seeds start to be collected in July-August, with the moment of ripening of the seeds. The plants are tied in buns and hung with the inflorescences down. When drying, the seeds are crushed and, if necessary, the seeds continue to be dried spread out on plates. Dried seeds can be stored for up to 2 years.
The seeds of Forking Larkspur contain triterpene alkaloids (delartin, delbin, delatin, delcosin, delsimin, delsin, delsolin, delfelatin, delfamine, delphelin, delphinin, condelphin, deltamin, dictiocarpin, consolidin, oreolin, methylicaconitin, eldelin, elatin), aconitic acid. Extracted quercetin and kaempferol, vegetable fats and tannins.
The surface part of the plant contains flavonoids, alkaloids (delsemin, calcatripine, melictin), glycoalkaloid delphinidin, organic acids, macro and microelements (zinc, chromium, manganese, magnesium, potassium, iron, selenium).
The flowers contain the glycoside delphinine, some alkaloids (magnoflorine, calcatripine), pigments.
The alkaloids in the plant are able to block nerve endings, promote relaxation of skeletal muscles, muscle relaxants (curare-like substances), which were found in the plant, were offered in surgical practice, complexes with narcotic substances or narcosis to relax muscles, remove spasms, convulsions in case of increased muscle tone.
Recent studies indicate anti-parasitic, blood-purifying, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, pain-relieving effects of this plant.
Folk medicine has been using Forking Larkspur since ancient times. Decoctions of dried stems are used for diseases of the urinary system and genitals.
The setting is used as a pain-relieving, bile-repelling and anti-inflammatory agent, in cases of stomach and liver diseases, and for rinsing the oral cavity - in case of stomatitis and angina. This remedy helps in the treatment of intense cough, whooping cough and lung inflammation. Applications from this plant are used to treat conjunctivitis and blepharitis.
Forking Larkspur is used in case of heavy childbirth, sciatica and painful menstruation.
In Russia, this plant can often be found under the name «živokost» - with the help of this plant, you can accelerate the healing of broken bones, heal wounds and treat burns. Scabies, eczema and other skin diseases are treated with ointments based on blueberry.