Smoke Tree (Cotinus coggygria) is a strong, fragrant shrub with long hairy pink flowers in the form of clouds that look like smoke - hence the English name "Smoke Tree". It grows in rocky areas on calcareous soils in most of the Balkan Peninsula.
Smoke Tree belongs to the sumac family (Anacardiaceae). The leaves of the plant are used for medicinal purposes. Smoke tree leaves contain up to 25% ellagic acid-rich tannins. They also contain gallic acid, flavonoids, mitricin and fustin. It also contains essential oil (up to 0.20%) with a pleasant smell.
Cotinus, as this bush is also called, is one of the most popular medicinal plants in Bulgarian folk medicine. It is a remedy with one of the most powerful antioxidant and antibacterial effects.
In Bulgarian naturopathy, Smoke Tree is used as an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and hemostatic (promotes blood clotting) - also for skin diseases, eczema, acne, pimples, swelling due to frostbite, hard-to-heal wounds, sweaty feet, hemorrhoids, boils and increased white discharge (for vaginal flushing), varicose veins and nail fungus.
With their high proportion of tannin, the leaves contribute to many healing processes.
Especially with acute and chronic problems in the oral cavity, the treatment with Smoke Tree ensures healthy gums, removes bad breath, kills plaque-causing bacteria, relieves periodontitis and gingivitis and helps to heal abscesses. This makes Smoke Tree extracts an excellent ingredient in toothpaste and mouthwash.