Deciduous conifer growing to 165 ft (50 m). Has clusters of needle-like leaves, male and female flowers, and small, light brown cones.
Habitat & Cultivation
Native to the Alps and the Carpathian mountains of eastern Europe, larch grows to altitudes of 6,600 ft (2,000 m). It is widely cultivated for its timber. The resin is tapped in autumn; the bark is collected when the tree is felled.
Inner bark, resin.
Larch contains lignans, resins, and volatile oil (consisting mainly of alpha- and beta-pinene and limonene).
Medicinal Actions & Uses
Larch has astringent, diuretic, and antiseptic properties. The bark may be used to treat bladder and urinary tubule infections such as cystitis and urethritis, and respiratory problems, including bronchitis. The resin is applied to wounds, where it protects and counters infection. A decoction of the bark is used to soothe eczema and psoriasis. Caution Do not take larch if suffering from kidney disease.