Turkestan Mint (Lagochilus inebrians)
Lagochilus inebrians is a member of the Lamiaceae family, native to central Asia. This perennial herb has been used by the Tajfik, Tartar, Turkoman and Uzbek tribesman for centuries as an intoxicant (Plants of the Gods, 1992). The leaves, flowering tops and stems are mixed, toasted and then brewed as a tea, honey is added to lessen the extreme bitterness.
Studied in Russia for decades, Lagochilus is well known pharmacologically. It is recommended for its antihemorrhagic and haemostatic properties, to reduce the permeability of blood vessels and as an aid in blood coagulation (Plants of the Gods, 1992).
The pleasant smelling herb contains a diterpene named lagochilin. The closely related lagochilin-3-acetate and lagochilin-tetraacetate may also contribute to overall effects (Daniel Siebert, www.sagewisdom.org).
Lagochilus can be used in a number of ways:
– Simply adding a few dried and crushed leaves to your favourite smoking blend or cigarette adds a delightful flavour.
– An extract can be made using acetone. Grind and soak material in acetone for 1-2 weeks, filter and evaporate acetone. Scrape together resin for use. This method is particularly worthwhile.
– To make a tincture, leaves can be soaked in 40-70% ethanol and filtered for use. One site recommends 1 teaspoon 3 times daily, or for arresting bleeding, 1-2 teaspoons of tincture in 1/4 glass of water every 2 hours.
– Dried leaves and flowers are boiled with sugar and honey to make a tea. Sometimes mixed with stems or toasted leaves. Honey and sugar are often added to reduce their bitterness. Drying and storage increase their aromatic fragrance. 5-30 grams per person.
10g dried herb