|Botanical Nomenclature||Prunus lauricerasus|
|Common Name||Cherry Laurel, Common Laurel, English Laurel|
|Distinguishing Features of the Plant||Prunus lauricerasus is a deciduous or evergreen shrub growing from 3 to 4m, with oval, oblong, short-stemmed, thick, tough, shiny, smooth, toothed leaves and white, with five petals flowers in long inflorescences (bunches). The fruits are oval, divided into two parts, fleshy, with astringent taste, black and they look like small cherries. The trunk is glossy, black, with hard, red wood and the semens are almost spherical and smooth. The flowering lasts from March to April and the fruiting takes place in September.|
|Region Found||Epirus (cultivated, not wild species)|
|Part of the Plant with Active Substances||Fresh leaves, fruits, seeds|
|Active Substances||Hydrogen cyanide (a poisonous, bitter substance which is contained in bitter almonds), located mainly in fresh leaves and rarely in seeds. The leaves also contain two toxic glycosides, prulaurasin and prunasin, which are converted to glucose, hydrocyanic acid and benzaldehyde after leaves' chewing. The seeds contain amygdalin.|
|Pharmacological Effects - Therapeutic Applications||The plant has anticonvulsant, sedative and narcotic properties. It is recommended in the form of herbal tea against clonic, stomach disorders, vomiting, nervous cough, angina, asthma, pertussis, bronchitis, pneumonia and cardial extrasystoles. It is applied externally in the form of poultice made from the cold leaves' extract as eye washes, as well as sedative against pain caused by burns and wounds. In homeopathy the tincture made from the leaves is used as sedative and anticonvulsant.|
|Method of Administration||The plant is administered in the form of herbal tea (2 spoons of dried herb in a cup of boiled water for 5-10min, 3 times a day), infusion (one fresh leaf in 200ml of boiling water for 5-10min, 1-2 times a day) and powder (200-300mg). It is applied externally to the skin as soothing in the form of poultice made from the cold leaves' extract.
Warning: The use of herb preparations is not recommended without seeking advice from your physician or pharmacist. The substances they contain may interact with the subscribed drugs that the patient already takes, thus eliminating their therapeutic efficacy or inducing toxicity. They may also burden further weakened vital functions of the body thus exposing the patient to increased morbidity and life threatened conditions.
|Toxicity- Adverse Effects||All plant parts contain hydrogen cyanide which is poisonous. This substance in a very small amount is not harmful, as it stimulates the respiration and improves digestion. However, in larger amounts it blocks mitochondrial respiration and leads to death.|
|References||1)Bιβλίο: Τα φαρμακευτικά βότανα και οι θεραπευτικές τους ιδιότητες, Λάμπρου Π. Σπύρου, Αγροτικός εκδοτικός οίκος, Αθήνα 1981, Ά τόμος, σελίδες: 264, 2)http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-402-cherry%20laurel%20water.aspx?activeingredientid=402&activeingredientname=cherry%20laurel%20water 3)http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Prunus+laurocerasus 4)http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Maximum_Residue_Limits_-_Report/2009/11/WC500015796.pdf 5)https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/chelau54.html#con|