Digitalis officinalis

Digitalis officinalis

Scrophulariaceae Form -native to Eurpoe and North America Culture -well drained, rich, neutral to acidic soil -partial shade -pick leaves before flowering and dried for use -propagate from seeds, needs light to germinate -may develop crown rot and root rot in wet conditions Foliage -biennial, producing leaf rosette first year -2 foot hight tomentose stem second year Medicinal Uses: -Cardiac effects Conditions Treated in Modern Medicine: -Stimulates contraction of the heart -Reduces frequency of hearthbeats -Lowers Oxygen requirements of the heart (in realtion to performance) Pharmacological Substances and Properties: -B-sequence (aglycone gitoxigenin) -E-sequence (aglycone gitaloxigenin) -Pegnane glycosides -Steroid saponin -Cardiac steroid glycosides (cardenolides) Medicinal Parts Used: -the dried Leaves and Ripe seeds can be ground into a powder which is prepared as a tincture in ethanol -Note that while Foxglove used to be the primary source of cardiac glycosydes, its use as a drug is now considered obselete as similar compouds are easier to obtian from a related species of digitallis.