Siberian larch is a coniferous tree of the pine family of the genus of larches, its name in Latin sounds like Larix Sibirica. The height of these giants grow to 40- 45 m, and the diameter of the trunk can reach 180 cm, but most often about one meter. In young trees, the crown, as a rule, has the shape of a cone, but with age becomes more rounded. The branches of larch are usually sprawling: at an angle of 90 ° they grow from the trunk, and then make a bend to the top.
The trunk of the Siberian larch has an upright bark, at a young age, as a rule, smooth, light with a beautiful sandy or grayish tinge, as the tree grows older, the bark thickens to 25 cm, it cracks, it gets a little dark. Larch wood is very much appreciated due to its high strength and resistance to decay; its core color is brownish-red with a thin whitish sapwood. The thickness of the bark serves as a kind of shield, protecting the tree from adverse external factors: frost, fire.
Branches with the presence of shoots of 2 types:
1. Long - one-year. On them, the needles are located singly, spiral. The color of such shoots, as a rule, is yellow-green.
2. Short - long-term. The needles on such shoots have a beam arrangement. Each such bundle contains from 30 to 50 pieces of needles. The lifespan of perennial shoots varies from 10 to 12 years, then they die. Their color is gray-yellow.
The Siberian larch buds have a yellowish-brown or reddish-brown color and broadly conical shape. They are covered with scales, resinous in structure. The needles are mostly soft, narrow, reaching 3-4 cm in length. The color of the needles is bright green, with a characteristic bluish bloom, there are rows of stomata on both sides.
The root system of Siberian larches is well developed, which allows these trees to stand in the strongest winds. On scanty stony soils, as well as on soils with an excess of moisture or the nearest permafrost location, the system of roots of Siberian larch is identical to the spruce root system. Near marshland with an abundance of moss on the trunks of these trees grow additional roots - adventitious, which are located just above the root collar under a layer of growing moss. In the process of growing moss and drowning deeper and deeper into the roots of the tree, their lower part dies over time, enabling the adventitious roots to take over the function of feeding the tree.
It is time to bloom in April - May and lasts for 1-1.5 weeks. At the same time, the needles are blooming. On the crown of opposite-sex bumps are distributed uniformly, evenly. Male flowers are usually connected in round spikelets of yellow color, while female flowers have the image of a nipple with a color ranging from a violet-red shade to a weak green one. The peak of ripening cones is September. Ripened cones have an ovoid shape and a rich brown color, their size is small, about 4 cm. Scales, rounded from above, narrowed to the base, convex, wooden, leaning on each other have a length of not more than 1.5 cm. Seed dispersion occurs by mid-autumn - in October, but empty buds continue to hang on the tree for years.
Seeds have the following characteristics (on average):
- Length: 5mm
- Width: 3mm
- Wing: 7mm
- Color: yellow brown
Siberian larch fructifies almost every year. Productivity depends on the region of tree growth, its age and weather conditions of the vegetative period, the rate of seed collection varies from 15 to 80 kg per 1 ha. For the first time the tree begins to bear fruit at the age of 12-50, depending on the conditions and location.
Siberian larch is a single-leaf deciduous plant. It grows quickly, loves light, is pollinated by the wind, winter-hardy, not demanding on the fertility of the soil, but humidity has some significance. These trees improve the quality of the soil on which they grow. The life of these giants comes to 900 years, but this is the maximum figure, on average - 400 years.
Siberian larch has a very wide range of growth. Naturally, it is most often found throughout Siberia, but also meetings with it from the south of Russia to the forest tundra are not rare. She is able to live at an altitude of 2500m above sea level, climbing high in the mountains. Altai and Tien-Shan were also not spared by the Siberian larch.
On a wide area of their geography, these trees form the cleanest forests, in addition, they grow in friendly neighborhood with other coniferous representatives: pine, spruce, cedar, as well as with fir and birch, and so on.
Collecting and harvesting
The therapeutic properties of larch have:
The needles are collected during the whole summer, but the most favorable period is the end of June or the beginning of August, since it is then that the needles are richest in ascorbic acid. In early spring, it is advisable to collect the buds and shoots (young), at this time the scales are still tightly pressed to the kidney.
The resin is collected as follows. On the trunk during the growing season, a notch is made, from which the sap is expired.
Bark is extracted from felled trees, carefully removing it.
Drying of raw materials is carried out at a temperature not exceeding 25 ° indoors with minimal humidity, or in an open space. This refers to the needles, shoots and buds, although a greater effect is achieved when using fresh raw materials, but the shelf life of raw material is extremely small. Storing branches at a temperature of 20 ° -25 ° leads to the destruction of vitamins in them for three days.
The use of bark requires its heat treatment: boiling, steaming, and only then drying at room temperature. Heat treatment can destroy small pests that can live in the larch bark. Raw bark has a long shelf life under the necessary conditions, one of which is refrigerated storage.
Siberian larch has excellent healing properties. The use of drugs based on raw materials from Siberian larch have a variety of therapeutic actions:
- wound healing
The needles of larch contain such useful substances as: vitamin C, Essential oils, Adhesives.
The bark is rich in such elements as: Catechins, Gum, Flavonoids, Organic Acids, Tannins.
Resin has a healing effect due to the content of such products in its composition: Rosin, Essential Oils, Abietic Acid, Fatty Acids: Palmitic, Oleic, Linolenic.
The use of larch as a medicine is due to the fact that some parts of this tree have significant therapeutic properties, and are used in the treatment of many diseases.
Needles are an excellent remedy for such diseases as:
- Periodontal disease
- Smell from the mouth
Young shoots can help in the treatment of such ailments:
- Urolithiasis disease
Larch resin has a truly miraculous effect in the treatment of:
- Open wounds
- Inflammatory Diseases
- Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, including: gastritis, duodenitis
- Viral diseases
- Muscle inflammation
- Neuralgic Diseases
- Respiratory diseases
The Siberian larch bark is a good panacea for the following health problems:
- Menstrual bleeding excessive with severe pain
- Intestinal infections
- Tooth aches
- Kidney disease
- Heart and Liver Diseases
Larch sponge, which is a tree fungus growing on the trunk of larch, allows you to defeat many diseases, including:
- Lung Disease: Tuberculosis
- Heavy bleeding
- Excessive sweating
- Boiling larch knots for 48 hours is an excellent remedy for excruciating head and heart pains, as well as for liver and kidney diseases. Take this broth should be three times a day, one teaspoon.
- Festering wounds and ulcerations, the tendency to the manifestation of boils, eczema, burns, cracks in the skin can overcome the ointment on the basis of sap of Siberian larch. To do this, you must mix the resin of larch, yellow wax and propolis, as well as sunflower oil, taken in equal proportions, and melt it all in a water bath. Having cooled down, this mass becomes an excellent healing ointment, which should be applied externally to the affected areas, compresses can also be done.
- To cope with a painful toothache can larch resin, you need to chew and put on a bad tooth. The pain recedes after a couple of minutes.
- Resin is also used in the treatment of hemorrhoids. Crushing the sap and blinding out of it like a rectal candle.
- Bronchitis, pneumonia, cough, tuberculosis and other pulmonary pathologies will help to heal the Siberian larch. You can use it in inhalation or, boiled in milk, drink three times a day.
- To cope with gastric diseases: heartburn, 12 duodenal ulcer, and so on can be resin, which must be swallowed 3 times a day before eating 50 grams.
How does the Siberian larch look and where does it grow?
Siberian larch – Larix sibirica Ledeb. - a large coniferous tree from the pine family with a height of 20–30 m. Some trees reach a height of 40 m. Unlike most coniferous trees, which are evergreen species, larch sheds all its needles in the autumn, that is, it is a summer green plant. Further you can familiarize with a photo and the description of the Siberian larch, and also learn about its application.
Barrel escapes: steeply thickens from the top to the root part (butt), in other words looks like a long cone. Trees with a meter diameter of the trunk at the root collar are not at all rare, there is information that there are “warriors” with a trunk 1.5–1.8 m in diameter. What does the siberian larch bark look like? On the trunks and large branches of the bark is gray-brown, very thick, its outer layers with deep cracks, in old trees at the base of the trunk, the thickness of the bark can reach 10 cm or more. The crown is most often ovoid-conical.
The root system of Siberian larches is well developed, which allows these trees to stand in the strongest winds. On scanty stony soils, as well as on soils with an excess of moisture or the nearest permafrost location, the system of roots of Siberian larch is identical to the spruce root system. Near marshland with an abundance of moss on the trunks of these trees grow additional roots - adventitious, which are located just above the root collar under a layer of growing moss. One of the features of Siberian larch is the gradual death of the roots. In the process of growing moss and drowning deeper and deeper into the roots of the tree, their lower part dies over time, enabling the adventitious roots to take over the function of feeding the tree.
At the time of ovification, larch enters at the age of 15 in open habitats and at 20–30 years old in closed plantings. The maximum age of Siberian larch is 450–500 years old, but long-livers are known, their age reaches 900 years.
The area of Siberian larch is almost completely within the borders of Russia. It is distributed mainly in Siberia (its name also speaks about it), it comes to the Urals and the northeast of the European part of Russia. And only in the south this plant goes beyond the borders of our country to Mongolia, Western China and East Kazakhstan.
In the Asian part of Russia, Siberian larch is found from the Urals to the Yenisei and Baikal. It occupies a significant part of Western and Central Siberia - from the lower reaches of the Ob and Yenisei in the north to the Altai and southern Transbaikalia in the south and southeast. In the sector from the Polar Urals to Taimyr, larch forms the northern boundary of the forest and the “island” forests of the forest-tundra. East of the Yenisei Siberian larch is replaced by other species. Some of them are the most important forest-forming rocks of Eastern Siberia and the northern regions of the Far East. Forests of different types of larch - larch forests, or light coniferous taiga - occupy about 40% of the forest area of our country.
In Russia, introduced into the culture of Peter I, in North America, known since 1806. Now in Russia, it is common everywhere in ornamental plantations and in forest cultures.
See photos of Siberian larch in natural habitat:
Features of a tree Siberian larch
Larch is good in spring and summer, but in the winter season, next to its evergreen relatives - pines and spruces, dressed in thick needles, it looks inconspicuous. In the Moscow region and other forests of the middle zone, where larch is found quite rarely and only in forest plantations, citizens often take winter larch as a dried spruce. In spring, larch along with deciduous trees awakens from hibernation. And from each bud-knot a light green brush of long and thin needles is born.
On nice days it is always light and sunny in larch pine forest, because larch is a light-loving tree. In all other respects, it is unpretentious and can grow on the most poor soil, withstanding very cold weather, which even metal cannot withstand. Therefore, it can be found even beyond the Arctic Circle. In our country, larch is the most common tree species, occupying about 40% of the area of all forests. Of the fourteen species of larch the most common Siberian, European and Daurian.
Planted singly, in groups, in alleys. Beautiful combination with deciduous species. Given the characteristics of the Siberian larch, this tree is of interest for forestry. Decay-resistant and durable wood is used in hydraulic structures and construction.
Larch bark is a valuable raw material. Taiga residents received from her red-brown paint. Durable textile dyes are also produced industrially from larch bark, at the same time extracting essential oils and tannins from it.
In scientific medicine, the Venetian turpentine obtained from the resin of the Siberian larch, containing up to 16% turpentine, is mainly used. Essential oil and rosin (solid resin), which are part of the resin, are also important medical value. “Venetian turpentine” is used both in pure form (ordinary turpentine - sap), in purified oil - turpentine oil (purified turpentine), and as part of ointments (turpentine ointment) and patches as an external irritant and distracting agent for rheumatism, myositis, neuralgia , gout, lumbar ischia. As an antimicrobial and deodorizing agent, turpentine is used for inhalation in catarrh of the upper respiratory tract, bronchitis, abscesses, and gangrene of the lungs. In addition, turpentine irritates the kidneys and urinary tract. Turpentine compresses prescribed for radiculitis, sciatica and toothache. The needles of larch is used in medicine as a vitamin and a strong antiscorbutic agent.
The fruiting body of a larch sponge - a fungus parasitizing on the trunks of Siberian larch is used in medicine against debilitating sweating in patients with tuberculosis, with fever, diabetes, neurasthenia (Minaeva, 1991), as well as with Graves' disease (young workers). Sponge agaricinis is also used in the treatment of tuberculosis (Surina, 1974).
Phytopreparation "Dicvertin" based on larch wood flavonoids is recommended for pathogenetic therapy for bronchopulmonary diseases, coronary heart disease, unstable angina and supraventricular cardiac arrhythmias. Dietary supplements (Kapillar, Siblarin - there are about 100) on the basis of dihydroquercetin wood are used to improve the quality of nutrition and immune status, especially for people living in ecologically unfavorable conditions. The complex preparation based on the bioflavonoid dihydroquercetin and the polysaccharide arabinogalactan wood is used for the prevention and treatment of influenza, acute respiratory viral infections.
Contraindications and side effects
Contraindications to the use of drugs from larch are primarily individual intolerance, as well as intestinal and stomach ulcers, post-stroke and post-infarction conditions, severe CNS pathologies, pregnancy and breastfeeding time.
In other areas
Siberian larch as a medicinal raw material is widely used in the pharmaceutical industry. Medicinal preparations (ointments and patches) for external use are made from larch gum, and turpentine of very high quality and rosin are obtained.
Valuable medicinal raw material is larch sponge (tinder drug) - a fungus, parasitizing on the trunks of larch. Siberian larch is also used in the perfume industry. К примеру, лиственничную смолу используют для изготовления косметических кремов и зубных паст.
Siberian larch, especially wood is widely used in construction, as it has high mechanical properties, first of all, little rot (even in soil and water), durable, strong, heavy, very hard. Wood is mainly used for hydraulic structures, conversion and bridge boards, miner racks, sleepers, poles, etc. Since larch wood considerably exceeds all coniferous species in its technical properties, it is widely used in shipbuilding. From wood they get cellulose, ethyl alcohol, gum, which is used as an emulsifier in the manufacture of emulsions. Larch bark extracts are good tanning agents and dyes.
Thanks to good endurance, Siberian larch easily tolerates the sometimes extreme climatic conditions of large cities, where it is often used as an ornamental plant for planting both in single and in group plantings.
Coniferous breed Larix sibirica easily adapts to various environmental conditions. Most often in Russia it can be found in Siberia, the north-eastern part of the country and in the Urals. Together with ordinary pine, cedar and spruce grows in coniferous forests. But it can also form solid deciduous arrays. They are rare and very light due to the spreading crown. In such larch forests there are a large number of shrubs, lichens and grasses. Forest fires to these trees are not terrible, thanks to a very thick bark.
East of the Yenisei River, another species of Siberian larch - Daurian grows. It is characterized by small cones and strong frost resistance. The forests from it extend from Taimyr to the Lena River. Another genus of the species Larix, Cajander larch, grows in the Far East. Despite the different names and places of distribution, their value for the economic needs of a person is the same.
Use of larch in industry and agriculture
The wood of this breed is very hard, does not rot for a long time when it is wet. It is actively used in the construction of ships, the foundations of bridges, the manufacture of railway sleepers, the construction of baths. The tree does not give in to fungal diseases. In urban environments it adapts well.It is used for landscaping settlements.
The bark of Siberian larch contains tannins and has tannic properties. May dye wool and fabrics in brown or pink tones. With its help you can get ethyl alcohol and cellulose. Carefully removed bark from felled trees must be dried and cooked. This is a necessary measure for the destruction of small pests. With proper storage conditions - the shelf life of the bark is high.
The value of larch in medicine
Improving properties of larix sibirica:
- wound healing
Medicinal actions have drugsmade on the basis of the raw materials of this pine.
Her needles and shoots contain vitamin C. Hot infusions of them are used for hernia, boiled and filtered in milk - for constipation, cough and irritated intestines. The resin serves as the basis for the extraction of turpentine. It is used in the manufacture of ointments, patches for the treatment of gout and rheumatism. Siberian larch essential oil (turpentine) with external application helps to cope with myositis and neuralgia. Healing compresses from it are used for sciatica and toothache.
Examples of healing recipes
- Cure a toothache will help the resin from larch, if it is chewed and placed next to the diseased area in the mouth,
- For hypertension, brew a tablespoon of pine needles (chopped) with a glass of boiling water, heat for ten minutes over low heat and let stand for half an hour. After filtering, take a third of the glass up to three times a day before meals,
- When poisoning and diarrhea will help tincture of the bark. It is necessary to grind 20 grams of dry bark and pour 100 milliliters of vodka, and insist two weeks (sometimes shaking). Then strain and squeeze. Take before meals three times a day, 20-30 drops,
- A rectal resin candle can be used for hemorrhoids,
- With flatulence, bronchitis with a characteristic wet cough, kidney stones and as a laxative, a decoction of young shoots is used. They need to be finely chopped and brewed with boiling milk per calculation - one tablespoon to a glass. Warm up on the fire for 15 minutes and let the broth brew for half an hour, and then strain. Take a third of a glass three times a day before meals,
- As an anesthetic for diseases of the joints (rheumatism and gout) apply therapeutic pine baths,
- A decoction of knots is a good remedy for headaches, heart problems and kidney pains. They need to be boiled for 48 hours and then drink 1 teaspoon three times a day,
- Green pine cones collected at the end of spring will help with shortness of breath, gastrointestinal diseases, asthma, general weakness of the whole organism. They must be washed, filled with water and kept on medium heat for an hour, until the bumps are soft. After strain, add 1 kg of sugar per 1 liter of water and boil further. All sugar should be dissolved. After removing from the heat in the broth, add citric acid and store with a tightly closed lid in a cool and dark place. Drink three times a day before meals in a tablespoon, drinking plenty of water.
The tree fungus that can be seen on the trunk of larix sibirica is called the larch sponge. It is also used to treat certain diseases: with severe bleeding, sweating, constipation, and tuberculosis.
Larch buds and shoots for medical purposes should be collected in early spring, when the scales are not tightly pressed together. And needles - at the end of June due to the high content of ascorbic acid during this period.
Contraindications when using Siberian larch for medical purposes
- diseases of the nervous system
- pregnancy and feeding period,
- gastric and intestinal ulcers,
- condition of the human body after heart attacks and strokes,
- individual intolerance of pine trees.