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Achillea species used medicinally in Hungary

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The genus Achillea consists of about 140 perennial species, of which 14 are indigenous in Hungary. In the local folk medicine, yarrow species are listed among the most commonly used plant species against bleeding, stomach complaints, menstrual spasms, in the form of infusion or externally as a poultice.Chemotaxonomical studies in the Research Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants in Budakal�sz and at the Department of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants at the Corvinus University, Budapest, contributed to the knowledge of the intraspeciflc chemical diversity of about 10 indigenous species. From the beginning of the 1960s to the present, about 650 Achillea populations had been sampled and their essential oil composition determined. In addition, investigations focused on the factors which may influence the appearance of the chemotype. Studies on the genetic linkage of essential oil compounds, changes in essential oil composition during ontogenesis and according to plant organ, as well as on effects of temperature on the essential oil spectrum were carried out. Further significant theoretical and practical results include description of the correlation between the essential oil content, its main components, and its morphological/biological characters; selection of genotypes for high production and essential oil content; and optimizing of the agrotechnology. As a member of the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources, the Hungarian team contributed to the elaboration of the descriptive character list used for determination of genebank accessions.Ecological and biological studies have been supplied by the chemical- methodological developments of analytical methods. The first proazulene, achillicin, was isolated in Budapest.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Corvinus University of Budapest


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