Plant Name Heliotropium europaeum var. lasiocarpum.
Heliotropium ellipticum var. lasiocarpum.
Botanical Info Annual. Belongs to the family of Boraginaceae. The stem(stalk) is branchy. 20-50 cm heigh, leaves are elliptic, petiolate, pubescent; flowers are small, white, in tendrils; fruit is nut.
Geography Trans Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Russia, Central Asia, India. Widespread in steppe regions.
Chemical Content Ground parts: alkaloids geliotrine and lasiocarpine
Traditional Use and Activity. Very toxic. Alkaloids geliotrine and lysocarpine affect liver. The poisoning is usually caused by foods containing the impurity (1-2%) of Heliotropium lasiocarpum seeds. Heliotropic toxicosis are observed mainly in the years with belated spring, when the ripening terms of Heliotropium lasiocarpum and bread seeds are coincided. The disease most often occurs in chronic form. Poisoning symptoms: loss of appetite, malfunction of gastrointestinal tract, weight loss in animals; appearance of icteritiousness, dry skin, often flaky.