Psoralea is an annual herb native to west Asia, although it also found in China and Vietnam. The plant grows to a height of about two feet, and requires moist soil to prosper. The seeds are used medicinally; they are typically harvested in the fall while ripe and then dried in the sun. They are either left raw or are stir-baked with salt water before being incorporated into herbal remedies.
The dried psoralea seeds appear mainly as flat ellipse but sometimes shape something like a kidney, 3 to 5mm long, 2 to 4mm in diameter, 1.5mm thick, with a dimple in the middle, and dark brown rough surface with fine reticulate wrinkles and dense glandular spots. The thin pericarp is hard to be peeled off from the testa. Inside there is one kernel and a pair of cotyledon, from light brown to yellowish-brown, and rich in oil. And it has a very light sweet smell and slightly bitter and pungent taste.
Psoralea fruit is used to aid in the calcification of bones for such conditions as osteoporosis and bone fractures. It is used for the treatment of skin conditions, hair loss, and cancer. This herb contains psoralen, which inhibits the multiplication of osteosarcoma and lung cancer cells. The psoralen also works to protect the skin against psoriasis and vitiligo, a condition that causes the skin to lose pigmentation in patches around the body.
This natural herb helps in treating premature ejaculation and frequent urination; it acts as a nerve tonic too. One of the most potent parts of the Psoralea corylifolia is the seeds. The seeds are used as a laxative and are often recommended for people with cardiovascular issues as well. In addition, the seeds are thought to be an aphrodisiac and a stimulant. The oil from the seeds is believed to cure skin diseases and improve a person’s complexion. The fruit of Psoralea corylifolia is a diuretic, and it is often recommended to help stop vomiting. It is also used to treat bronchitis.