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Western Larch - Pinus larixStimulant, diuretic, astringent, balsamic and expectorant. As an external application it has been found useful in chronic eczema and psoriasis. Its chief official use is as a stimulant expectorant in chronic bronchitis, with much secretion. Its action is that of oil of turpentine.
Larix is the water soluble, long branched arabinogalactan (a type of polysaccharide) from the Western Larch Tree. This high molecular weight compound (main fractions of 16,000 & 100,000MW) is similar to immune modulating arabinogalactans found in Echinacea. Larix is a non-toxic soluble dietary fiber.
Larches are conifers in the genus Larix, in the family Pinaceae. Growing from 115-150m tall, they are native to much of the cooler temperate northern hemisphere, on lowlands in the far north, and high on mountains further south. Larch are among the dominant plants in the immense boreal forests of Russia and Canada. Although a conifer, the Larch is also a deciduous tree - losing its leaves every year like every other tree. The shoots are dimorphic, with growth divided into long shoots typically 10-50 metres long and bearing several buds, and short shoots only 1-2 mm long with only a single bud. The leaves are needle-like, 2-5 centimetres long, slender (under 1 cm wide). They are borne singly, spirally arranged on the long shoots, and in dense clusters of 20-50 needles on the short shoots. The needles turn yellow and fall in the late autumn, leaving the trees leafless through the winter.