|Botanical Nomenclature||Digitalis purpurea|
|Common Name||Foxglove, Lady's Glove, Purple Foxglove|
|Distinguishing Features of the Plant||Digitalis purpurea is a biennial or perennial plant growing up to 2m with large, serrated, lanceolate leaves and pink-purple, bell-shaped, hermaphrodite flowers in long inflorescences. The flowering lasts from June to September and the fruiting happens from August to October. The harvesting of the leaves takes place just before the blooming.|
|Part of the Plant with Active Substances||Leaves|
|Active Substances||The plant contains 63 glycosides such as digitoxin and digitalin, which are classified into 5 groups, A, B, C, D, and E. It also contains saponins, flavonoids, acids, choline, anthraquinones, essential oil, fat, starch, gum, carbohydrates|
|Pharmacological Effects - Therapeutic Applications||The plant has cardiotonic, antiarrhythmic, diuretic, healing and tonic properties. It contains cardiac glycosides, which act on heart muscle and increase the strength of heart contraction, control the heart rate, and reduce blood pressure by decreasing diuresis. Due to all these actions, the plant is used for the treatment of heart failure, arrhythmias, cardiac hypertrophy, albuminuria and pneumonia. The herbal tea made from the leaves stimulates kidney function and it is used against dropsy. In folk medicine it is used against internal bleeding, inflammation, delirium, epilepsy, mania and other diseases. In homeopathy the tincture made from the leaves is recommended for the treatment of cardiac disorders.|
|Method of Administration||The plant is administered in the form of herbal tea (0,05 to 0,1g of dried herb in a cup of boiled water for 10min, 2-3 times a day), powder made from the dried leaves and poultice for external use. In homeopathy it is administered in the form of tincture (5-15 drops per day). The plant is also used to isolate cardiac glycosides.
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||The use of digitalis is not recommended to patients who suffer from bradycardia and renal failure. The tea of the leaves may cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Overdose may lead to bradycardia, visual disturbances (intense perception of the yellow color and a halo around bright objects) , fainting, gastrointestinal disorders and heart and kidneys dysfunction.|
|References||1)http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/plants-fungi/digitalis-purpurea-common-foxglove 2)http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Digitalis+purpurea 3)http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/foxglo30.html#predos 4) http://poisonousplants.ansci.cornell.edu/digitalis.html 5)http://www.pnwplants.wsu.edu/PlantDisplay.aspx?PlantID=316|