Sagan Dalya is a small, very beautiful and specific ever-green blooming shrub. It is the endemic alpine plant native to high mountains situated around great Siberian lake Baikal. The attempts to cultivate this species in botany gardens had no success.

All rhododendrons have been known from the ancient times as poison and heavy-stoning plants. For instance, Xenophon, Greek historian (380 BC) wrote about infection of the whole squad of Greek warriors by poisonous honey which put them into sleepy, dreamlike state and left them unable to fight.

Sagan Dalya has been mentioned in three Tibetan medical treatises as adaptogenic, stimulating and tonic plant. It considered that leaves and flowers of this plant possess the magic power to grant to a man vitality, to strengthen workability, to improve the potency. It has been applied when chronic diseases accompanying with general decline of living powers, headaches, sleeplessness, exhaustion.

This plant is known under many names which reflect its famousness among different people thanks to magic, ritual and medicinal properties.

In folk medicine of Russia and indigenous tribes of Eastern Siberia Sagan Dalya still uses to cure heart, nervous and stomach illnesses, and also as diuretic, sweating and lowering fever measure. So broad application of a plant is connected with belief that it acts immediately on the human body as whole system.

Mongolian name: Аdamsiin Terelj, Terelj Dali, Tibetan name: Daligarbo, English name: Adams Rhododendron

Synonyms: R. fragrans Maxim., R. pallidum,Dümmer, R. anthopogon, D.Don, Azelea fragrans Adams, A. pallidaTurcz., Osmothamnus fragrans DC., O. pallidusDC. [1].

Description: 30–40 cm tall shrub. Leaves acute at the tip, round at the base, ovate-lanceolate, elliptic or oblong, upper surface glabrous, with impressed reticle veins, wrinkled, lower surface with rust-colored glands. Flowers white, by 3–4 in terminal inflorescence.

Habitat: Dense and damp larch and cedar-larch forests, mossy bogs, goltzy and screes [2–5]. Parts used: Flowers, leaves

Traditional Uses: The taste is bitter and sour, and the potency is warm and light. It is used for the following: treating wind, excess bile, phlegm and lung diseases, inflamed throat and coughing, to enhance energy, and increaseing appetite. It is an ingredient of the following traditional prescriptions: Anar-8, Gagol-6, Gogtal-8, Dali-3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 16, 18. Doshun-12, and Terelj-16 [5–9]. Microscopic characteristics: Petal: Upper epidermis wavy and thick-walled cells. Lower epidermis straight and thick walled cells. Spongy parenchyma three-layered, large intracellular spaces. Vascular bundle is collateral type [10]. Leaf: Leaf is dorsoventral. Palisade 4–6 layered, compactly arranged; spongy parenchyma 5–8 layered with intercellular spaces. Vascular bundle is collateral. Upper epidermis thickened, lignified; lower epidermis thin walled. Upper and lower epidermis covering multicellular trichomes. Anomocytic stomata occur on lower epidermis only [10]. Chemical constituents: The aerial part contains 11.1% essential oil: germacrone,

b-elemenone, g- elemenone, gumulene, pharnesine, s-cadinene, d-guaiene, bisabolene, nerolidole, unicamphor, cariophylline [11,12]. Leaves contain 4.85–6.9% tannins, 0.02% essential oil, cardenolides [12]. Qualitive and quantitative assay: Strong sulphuric acid is used for revealing triterpenoids in the plant. Total triterpene glycosides content is determined gravimetrically [10]. Qualitive and quantitative standards: Loss on drying, 14.0%. Ash, not more than 3.6%. Organic matter, not more than 0.5% and mineral matter, not more than 0.2%. 70% ethanol-soluble extractive, not less than 24%. Total flavonoid content, calculated as quercetin, not less than 1.5% [10]. Bioactivities: Antihypertensive and antibacterial [12].

References: 1. Olziikhutag, N. (Ed). (1983). Latin-Mongolian-Russian Dictionary of Vascular Plants of Mongolia (p. 146). Ulaanbaatar: Press of Mongolian Academy of Sciences. 2. Gubanov, I.А. (1996). Conspectus on Mongolian Flora (vascular plants) (p. 81). Moscow: Valang Press. 3. Malishev, L.I., and Peshkova, G.A. (1979). Flora of Central Siberia (Vol. 2, p. 695). Novosibirsk: Science Printing. 4. Sanchir, Ch., Batkhuu, J., Boldsaikhan, B., and Komatsu, K. (2005). Illustrated Guide of Mongolian Useful Plants. (Vol. 2, p. 207). Ulaanbaatar: Admon Printing. 5. Ligaa, U., Davaasuren, B., and Ninjil, N. (2005). Medicinal Plants of Mongolia Used in Western and Eastern Medicine. (p. 343). Ulaanbaatar: JCK Printing. 6. Yuthok Yonten Gonpo., Four Medical Tantras, VIII-IXth century. 7. Danzanpuntsag., Crystal rosary. XVIIIth century. 8. Boldsaikhan, B. (2004). Encyclopedia of Mongolian Medicinal Plants (p. 54). Ulaanbaatar: Mongolian University of Science and Technology. 9. Khurelchuluun, B., Suran, D., and Zina, C. (2007). Illustrated Guide of Raw Materials Used in Traditional Medicine. (p. 210). Ulaanbaatar: Erkhes Printing. 10. Tseebat, Ts., Bolor, D., and Shiirevdamba,Ts. (1994). Flower and leaf of Rhododendron adamsii Rehd. Mongolian National Standard 3392–94. 11. Pigulevski, G.V. and Belova, N.B. (1964). Essential oil investigation of Rhododendron adamsii Rehd. J. Gen. Chem. 34, 1345. 12. Sokolov, P.D. et al. (1986). Plants Review of USSR: Family Paeoniaceae-Thymelaeaceae. (p. 148). Leningrad: Science Printing

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