Peucedanum ostruthium, “Masterwort” in English and “Benjoin” or “Impératoire” in French, belongs to the Apiaceae botanical family. This herb, up to 1.2 m tall, is native to Central and Southern Europe where it grows in woodland, damp fields, river banks and mountain meadows.
Its leaves and roots are used as a flavouring for food and drinks, and as fumigation.
It was regarded in the Middle Ages as a panacea to treat quite a number of aliments. The root is used in the treatment of asthma, dyspepsia, menstrual complaints and to relieve migraine.
The main constituents of its essential oil (0,95% in the herb and 1,25% in the rhizome) are sabinene and 4-terpineol, β-caryophyllene and alpha-humulene.
Other bioconstituents are mono- and di-substituted chlorogenic acids, flavonol glycosides, coumarins (osthol, imperatorin), furanocoumarin glycosides, and 5-caffeoylquinic acid.