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Red-headed Sparrow - lithospermum crythrorhizon l.

Burachnichkovye family - Boraginaceae

Воробейник краснокорневой – Lithospermum crythrorhizon L. Воробейник краснокорневой – Lithospermum crythrorhizon L.

Botanical characteristics. Herbaceous perennial plant. It grows on dry stony slopes, among shrubs, along roadsides.

The root is powerful, thick, dark red. The stem is straight up to 50 cm tall, covered with bristly hairs. Leaves lanceolate with pronounced middle and lateral veins. The flowers are white, located in the axils of the upper leaves, collected in many-flowered curls. Fruit - light brown smooth shiny oval nut. It flowers in June - July, bears fruit in July - August.

Used plant parts. Medicinal raw material is the whole plant, often flowers and leaves. The plant is pulled from the root during flowering, dried in bunches under an open ventilated canopy. The roots are crushed and dried in a dryer at a temperature not higher than 40 ° C.

Chemical composition. All parts of the plant contain shikonin and its derivatives, pigments, carbohydrates. The roots contain lithospermanes, cyclitols, their derivatives, caffeic acid esters and higher aliphatic alcohols, flavonoids, naphthoquinones, wax. Leaves and flowers contain phenolcarboxylic acids (lithospermic, coffee), naphthoquinone derivatives, vitamins. In the seeds - fatty oil, in its composition of organic acids.

Application. Roots and aerial parts in the form of decoctions and tinctures are used as an antitumor agent. Shikonin and its derivatives in the experiment have antigonadotropic and broad-spectrum antiviral action, exhibit antibacterial activity against dysenteric amoeba.

In Tibetan, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese medicine, Vorobeynik's preparations are used for various infectious and viral diseases, mainly for scarlet fever, measles, chicken pox, influenza, diseases accompanied by a rash; as a means of stimulating the function of the gonads, with impotence, in gynecology with inflammatory processes in arthritis and other diseases of a rheumatoid nature; as an antidote for bites of poisonous insects, animals, but mainly snakes; as a prophylactic in case of epidemics of infectious diseases, tonic, antipyretic and diuretic. Outwardly in the form of ointments and lotions for tumors of various etiologies, cuts, bruises, burns, frostbite, eczema, chronic non-healing wounds and ulcers. Fresh juice and infusion of fresh plants are an effective remedy for baldness, promote the growth and strengthening of hair. A decoction of the roots has a contraceptive property.


  • To prepare the broth, take 15 g of the roots, chop, pour 180 ml of boiling water, leave for 30 minutes in a boiling water bath, cool for 10 minutes, filter, bring to 180 ml. Take a decoction of 2 tbsp. spoon 3-4 times a day after meals.
  • From the leaves and flowers, prepare the infusion as follows: 20 g of crushed leaves or flowers, or mixtures thereof, pour 200 ml of boiling water, insist on a bath for 15 minutes, cool at room temperature for 45 minutes, filter, bring to the desired volume. Take 1/3 cup 3 times a day.