Traditional name: bugloss or blueweed
The viper’s bugloss is a flowering plant in the borage family (Boraginaceae). It is native to Eurasia and widely spread also in our region. It grows on pastures, with other weeds, on unimproved lands, stony soil and prefers the moderately dry fields. Viper’s bugloss is a biennial plant. From one root grow several straight stems and flowers, especially from the second year. Its stem might grow 1m tall without branches, the leaves are narrow and hairy. It flowers between May and October. The flowers are ambilaterally symmetrical, the complex flowers build a corrolate. The blue corrolate is 1-2 cm long. There are no scutes in the corrola what happens very often in the borage family, the stamens come out upwards from the corrola and are not equally long. The yield is compound of four parts.
The drug means the upper 40 cm of the plant and must be picked at the beginning of flowering. One can win 1 kg of drug from 4 kg of fresh plant.
Beside allantoin, characteristic for the borage family, contains alcaloids, pyrrolizidine compounds and tannins.
In traditional medicine its infusion is used as a remedy for diarrhea and gastro-enterities. Its antibacterial effect has been proved through experiments. The alcaloids contained in blueweed might have hepatotoxic effects, which is why it may be used only as aquatic extraction, since the pyrrolizidin-alcaloides do not solve in water, but in alcohol. It is also used in medicinal-plant-mix prepared for tea.