Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
a genus of plants of the family Leguminosae. The plants are perennial herbs with long, spreading rhizomes. The leaves are alternate, temate, and stipulate; the flowers are usually yellow and gathered in apical racemose inflorescences. The fruit is a two-seeded or many-seeded pod.
There are about 30 species of Thermopsis, distributed in southeastern Europe, in the temperate regions of Asia, and in the southern part of North America. The USSR has six to eight species, growing largely in the steppe and semidesert zones and, less commonly, in the mountains. The most widespread species is T. lanceolata, which grows in the Southeast European USSR, Southern Siberia, and Kazakhstan. A pernicious weed, it is difficult to eradicate from plantings of wheat and other crops. The plant is poisonous; particularly toxic are its seeds and leaves.
T. lanceolata is used medicinally. The green parts of T. lanceolata are suitable for medicinal use when gathered during early flowering and dried. The alkaloids, saponins, essential oil, and other substances contained in the plant act as expectorants and, in large doses, as emetics. The plant is used mainly to treat cases of chronic bronchitis; it is used in the form of infusions, powders, tablets, or dried extracts. It is also an ingredient in compound pills and mixtures. The closely related species T. turkestanica, which grows in the Tien-Shan and the Altai, is also used medicinally.
REFERENCESChefranova, Z. V. “Materialy k monografii roda termopsis (Thermopsis R. Br.).” In Flora i sistematika vysshikh rastenii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1958.
Atlas lekarstvennykh rastenii SSSR. Moscow, 1962.