Common name: Plum
Latin name: Prunus domestica
Other names: Prune, European Plum
Habitat: Plum is native to Europe and Asia. It prefers full sun and wet soils.
Description: Plum is a small tree, growing about 6 meters high. It has numerous, smooth and spreading branches and small leaves. The leaves are alternate, oval in shape, sometimes drawn to a point, slightly toothed. They vary in color, some varieties having bright green, and others dark green colored leaves. Flowers are organized in groups of 2 to 5 on short stems, and are small and white. Fruit appears when the tree is 3 to 4 years old, ripening from August to September. It is oblong in shape and brownish-black or deep violet in color. It has both sweet-mucilaginous and acid taste.
Parts used: Fruit, dried.
Useful components: Malic acid, sugar, pectin, amygdalin and prunasin
Medicinal use: Plum fruit is a febrifuge, laxative and stomachic. It is an excellent laxative for people with nervous bowel functions. Stewed with water, dried fruit can easily relieve constipation. Two of its compounds, amygdalin and prunasin combined with water form hydrocyanic acid, which acts (in small amounts, since it is otherwise poisonous) as a respiration stimulant, and can improve digestion.
Safety: Some herbs could react with certain medication. Therefore, it is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption of any herb.