LARCH


Arabinogalactan, present in some larch species, has been reported to stimulate the immune system, to exhibit anti-inflammatory actions & may enhance vascular permeability.
Its antiseptic actions may be useful in treating respiratory problems & wounds.
It promotes drainage of mucus, thus being helpful in treating chronic bronchitis.

The bark, stripped of its outer layer, is astringent, balsamic, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant & vulnerary.
Its main application is as an expectorant in chronic bronchitis & has also been given internally in the treatment of haemorrhage & cystitis.
A cold extract of the bark is used as a laxative.
As an external application, it is useful in the treatment of chronic eczema & psoriasis.
The powdered bark can be used on purulent & difficult wounds to promote their healing.
A decoction of the bark of this tree is laxative, tonic, diuretic & alterative & is recommended in obstructions of the liver, rheumatism, jaundice & some cutaneous diseases.
Due to its expectorant & astringent properties, a tincture made from its bark was traditionally used in the treatment of chronic bronchitis & internal hemorrhages.
Larch is also efficient for treating urinary infections.

A decoction of the leaves has been employed in piles, hemoptysis, menorrhagia, diarrhoea & dysentery & externally in cutaneous diseases, ulcers, burns, etc.
In dropsy, combined with spearmint, juniper berries & horseradish.
Dose of the decoction, from 60-120 ml, 2-4 times a day.

A light decoction of fresh needles & young shoots can be added to bath water to make a stimulating bath.
Internally taken for tapewormbloody diarrheasores & skin problems.

The turpentine obtained from the resin is antiseptic, balsamic, diuretic, haemostatic, rubefacient & vermifuge.
It is a valuable remedy in the treatment of kidney, bladder & rheumatic affections & also in diseases of the mucous membranes & the treatment of respiratory complaints.
Externally, the turpentine is used in the form of liniment plasters & inhalers.
It has also been suggested for combating poisoning by cyanide or opium.
Also for fevers & colds, coughs/bronchitis, tendency to infection, blood pressure problems, inflammation of mouth & pharynx, common cold.


PRECAUTIONS:

Take care with lactose intolerance as contains galactose.
Inhalation may cause acute inflammation airways.
Possible allergies (e.g. hives, rashes, contact dermatitis).
Oral intake of bark or oil application over large skin areas may cause kidney damage.

It is important to use only small amounts, since even moderate amounts can cause kidney damage internally & swelling blisters externally.

Sawdust of the black larch can cause dermatitis.


RECIPES:

Inner bark can be eaten raw or can be dried, ground into a powder & used with cereal flours in making bread etc.
A sweet-tasting manna is obtained from the trunk, it can be eaten raw but is mainly used medicinally. 'Briancon manna' is exuded from the leaves in the summer. It is white, sweet & almost odorless.
The gummy sap that seeps from the tree has a very good flavor when chewed.

To treat constipation: Buckthorn bark & calamus root are also used.
take 1 tsp of each & mix with 1 tsp of black larch, using the inner bark.
Use a heaped 1 tsp of this mixture to 1 cup boiling water, steep for 30 minutes & take as much as needed.

Compress: Soak a cloth in hot water & squeeze out.
Moisten with a small amount of Venice turpentine & apply to the affected part.
Remove after 30 minutes & do not repeat until the next day.

Infusion: Add 1 tbsp of dried plant in 500 ml of hot boiled water & let steep for 20-30 minutes.
Drink 2-3 cups a day.

Decoction: Add 1 tbsp of dried plant in 500 ml of water & boil for 5 minutes.
Drink 2-3 cups a day.

Tincture: Add 2 tbsp of dried plant in 100 ml of alcohol 40% & let them macerate for 10-20 days. Take 20-40 drops a day in a glass of water.


MAGIC & FOLKLORE:

In European folklore the larch was said to be a preventative against enchantment.

The smoke from burning larch bark was thought to drive away evil spirits & parents had children wear collars of larch bark as a protection against the evil eye.

In Siberia the larch is associated with the primitive shamanistic religion of the native Tungus tribe. According to a shaman interview in 1925, larch poles are used in sacred rites as an earthly representation of the mythical tree called Tuuru, where the souls of all shamen are said to develop before coming to earth.
When a tungus shaman practices his art, his soul is symbolically climbing up the Tuuru tree’s larch pole representation, which is said to extend itself invisibly to heaven during the rite.
In addition, the shaman’s drum, which he uses to induce his trance, has a rim of larch bark.
The actual tree from which this bark is taken is always left standing in honor of the tree Tuuru.
It plays an important role in Sami & Siberian mythology where it takes the place of the ash as the World-tree.

Their shamans use larch wood to rim their ceremonial drums.

The smoke from burning larch is said to ward off evil spirits.
Larch may be used for protection & to induce visions.



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