Sofora plant for Herbal Naturopathy: properties, benefits, uses, side effects

Sophora is a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine for circulation disorders and its benefits are confirmed by numerous studies.

Characteristics of the plant

The sophora (Sophora japonica or Styphnolobium japonicum) is a plant belonging to the Fabaceae family, commonly spread in ChinaJapan, Korea, Vietnam and cultivated for ornamental purposes in numerous other countries, including European.

The genus includes numerous species of plants with an arboreal habit, which can reach 25 meters in height by developing tall, straight or sinuous trunks, covered with a brown bark.

The thick foliage consists of deciduous leaves, arranged alternately and imparipinnate, composed of 7-13 oval leaflets with an entire margin. In spring the plant produces flowers gathered in racemes, white or yellow, from which fruits develop that enclose the seeds.

In addition to being a plant appreciated in gardens and parks for its ornamental value, the sophora has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine thanks to its properties for health and well-being.

Properties and benefits

Sophora is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which has long exploited its wide range of properties, administering it orally.

Traditionally, buds and fruits are used to treat hemorrhoids, dysentery, uterine and intestinal hemorrhages, the presence of blood in the feces and urine, hypertension, dizziness and infections of the dermis.

In recent years, this plant has been the subject of numerous studies that have investigated the presence and biological activity of its constituents and extracts.

There are about 150 chemical compounds isolated from the leaves, branches, flowers, fruits and buds of the sophora. These include amino acids, polysaccharides, alkaloids, triterpenes, flavonoids and isoflavones, responsible for the many properties of the plant.

In fact, sophora has been attributed anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviralhemostatic and anticancer properties, as well as useful actions in the control of body weight and blood sugar and in the prevention of osteoporosis.

To confer these properties to the sophora seem to be mainly flavonoids and isoflavones and in particular rutin, a flavonoid also present in the leaves of buckwheat and Eucalyptus macrorhyncha. Rutin is known for its anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet and antithrombotic properties.

This molecule has the ability to improve blood circulation by promoting the permeability of the vessels and improving their elasticity. Rutin-based products are generally used to treat circulation disorders such as edema, itching in the lower extremities, varicose veins, hemorrhoids and to prevent bleeding, thrombi and the appearance of capillaries.

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