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Wintersweet, scientific name Chimonanthus praecox, is a plant native to China. The shrub is very resistant to cold and is characterized by yellow, very scented flowers that bloom in the middle of winter until march and appear as a prelude to spring. It is precisely for this reason that the name of wintersweet is chimonantus, from the Greek cheimon winter and anthos flower, the winter flower. However, the wintersweet does not only have a beautiful ornamental role, but it also has interesting heal...
Thyme honey is an amber-colored honey with interesting anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial and antispasmodic properties. Thanks to these characteristics, this type of honey is considered useful to counteract respiratory tract infections, cough but also to perform a healing action on open wounds (Imtara et al, Food Sci Nutr , Nov 2018 - Hashemian et al, Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol, Jun 2015). Moreover, thyme honey is highly antioxidant and antitumor, since a substance contained in it, trih...
Food combinations and cooking methods, onion Third Part
The onion is an edible bulb belonging to the Liliaceae family and also one of the most healthful and protective foods that you can find. Thanks to the several scientific studies that have focused their attention on the properties of the onion, today we know that this vegetable may bring benefit in case of catarrh, cough, bronchitis and flu thanks to the antibiotic and expectorant action, is helpful to keep at bay blood sugar levels, it is diuretic and therefore able to counteract water retention...
Food combinations and cooking methods, onion Second Part
The onion, family of the Liliaceae, is eaten and appreciated both for its taste, sweet and strong at the same time, and for its beneficial properties for millennia. As often happens with traditional foods, remedies and herbal teas, also in case of onion the scientific studies are now confirming its healthy action. Nowadays, we know that eating onions can be really useful thanks to its antibiotic, antiseptic, expectorant, antioxidant, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, slimming, hypoglycemi...
Food combinations and cooking methods, onion First Part
The onion, belonging to the Liliaceae family, is well known, appreciated and eaten for millennia. The first signs of its usage go back to the Chaldeans, 4000 years ago, but also the ancient Egyptians used onions a lot, while during Middle Ages the onions were considered a so precious food that they were used as coins. Nowadays, thanks to scientific studies, we know that this edible bulb isn’t just tasty but also rich in antibiotic, antiseptic, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, thus usefu...
Grindelia, also known as gumweed, scientific name Grindelia robusta, is a plant native to California and Mexico belonging to the Asteraceae family, just like chamomile, marigold or arnica. Grindelia is a remedy with proven anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties, moreover, it is also expectorant and anti-asthmatic thanks to particular antioxidant and protective substances, saponins and flavonoids, contained in the resin that covers the flowerheads of grindelia. From these flowerheads it i...
The pulmonaria, also called lungwort, scientific name Pulmonaria officinalis, is a plant of the Boraginaceae family used for centuries as a remedy to counteract coughs and bronchitis thanks to its expectorant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect on the bronchi and the lungs. Scientists are also focusing their attention on pulmonaria in order to check its real properties. Based on analyzes carried out on the plant, it has been found that the pulmonaria contains rosmarinic acid, with a powe...
Hildegard of Bingen was a German religious and naturalist who lived in the twelfth century. She was a very eclectic character, in fact she dedicated herself to the study of herbs to treat the human body but she wrote also several treatises on medicine, botany but also philosophy and cosmology. Among all the home remedies that Saint Hildegard proposed we can find the elixir of violet. This drink, which takes its name from one of its ingredients, is prepared from flowers and leaves of violet (Viol...
The privet, scientific name Ligustrum vulgare, is a shrub that belongs to the Oleaceae family. Known and appreciated for its ornamental role, it is commonly used indeed to delimit gardens and properties, it is also used in herbal medicine for its anti-inflammatory, cicatrizing and anti-catarrhal properties useful to treat especially the oral cavity and the upper respiratory tract. In particular, from the buds of the privet a powerful glycerin macerate is obtained, you can take 50 drops of this p...
The black-berried honeysuckle, scientific name Lonicera nigra, belongs to the family of the Caprifogliaceae. It looks like a bushy shrub and from its young shoots a glycerin macerate with interesting healthy properties is obtained. The remedy has indeed an anti-catarrhal and mucus-thinning action, calms the cough and protects the liver. For this reason you can use this glycerin macerate to treat coughs and bronchitis, sore throat, tonsillitis, laryngitis, aphonia and hoarseness. The glycerin mac...
The black poplar, or populus nigra, is a tree belonging to the family of Salicaceae that includes also willow, is native to southern and central Europe and some Asian regions and can be even 30 meters high. The buds of the black poplar, harvested at the beginning of the spring, are used to obtain the glycerin macerate of the plant. This remedy is used to fight respiratory infections such as chronic bronchitis, it has balsamic and expectorant properties. In addition to this, the glycerin macerate...
Turnip or white turnip, scientific name Brassica rapa, is a plant of the Brassicaceae family, which includes also cauliflower, savoy cabbage and Brussels sprouts. There are different varieties of turnip, here we are speaking about white turnip, characterized by an edible, roundish root covered by a white-violet peel and with an inner white pulp. The root can be eaten raw, grated in salads, or cooked and added to soups. It is rich in vitamin C, very useful to support the immune system, but also ...
Flax seeds, other uses
Our grandmothers knew about natural remedies. Here an ancient remedy, handed down through generations, used to fight persistent cough that continues also during night, sinusitis and bronchitis, ideal for this period of the year. We are talking about the flax seed compress, simple but effective at the same time. The first thing is to grind the flax seeds, which must be dry and therefore do not pre-soak them. Alternatively, you can buy flax flour, you can find it in specialized stores. Now moisten...
The white horehound, scientific name Marrubium vulgare, is a medicinal plant of the Labiate or Lamiaceae family. The remedy was already known to the ancient Egyptians, who used it to treat respiratory affections. Nowadays it is possible to take the mother tincture or to prepare an herbal tea with the horehound and take benefit from its tonic, expectorant, mucus-thinning, antispasmodic, digestive and antiarrhythmic action. Horehound is therefore useful in case of bronchitis, acute and chronic, an...
Speedwell, scientific name Veronica officinalis, is a plant of the Plantaginaceae family already known by the ancient Germanic peoples thanks to its beneficial properties. In addition to this, speedwell is also described by the well known herbalist Maria Treben. Speedwell grows spontaneously on dried soils and is characterized by a high purifying action, helps keep under control the cholesterol and is able to prevent atherosclerosis. This plant has a soothing action in case of eczema and itches....
Elecampane, also known as horse-heal or elfdock, scientific name Inula helenium, belongs to the Asteraceae or Composite family and is characterized by very beautiful yellow flowers that can be admired from the beginning of spring until advanced autumn. Elecampane, already known by the ancients, is beneficial to the airway health, calms cough, acts against bronchitis, even chronic, and asthma due to an expectorant and antiseptic action. In addition to this, the remedy has also diuretic properties...
The silver fir, Abies Alba, belongs to the Pinaceae family and is characterized by a silver gray bark that has small cavities containing turpentine, a resin with balsamic and anti-inflammatory properties, used in case of cough, bronchitis but also gout and rheumatism. It is also used in the industrial field for the preparation of paints. From the silver fir buds, a glycerin macerate with beneficial properties for the body is obtained. The glycerin macerate of silver fir helps indeed to fight off...
Viola odorata, commonly known as sweet violet, common violet or garden violet, is a small perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the Violaceae family. For the ancients, besides the fact that it was a sacred flower, violet was also very appreciated as a remedy able to treat headache caused by a very rich meal. Nowadays common violet can be used to soothe cough, both the cough of seasonal illnesses and the cough of the smokers, to treat inflammations and stomach irritations. It has also a laxativ...
Ephedra, scientific name ephedra distachya, is a plant of the Efedraceae family characterized by bronchodilator, antihistaminic and hypertensive properties. This effect is due to the alkaloids present in the remedy, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, considered performance-enhancing substances for sporty people. Ephedrine was an ingredient of many dietary supplements, but since 2004 in the United States is no longer on the market because of some deaths caused by an abuse of this substance. However,...
The monks cress, known also as garden nasturtium or Indian cress, scientific name Tropaeolum majus, belongs to the Tropeolaceae family and is native to the forests of South America. Imported by Europeans in the seventeenth century and used as a remedy against scurvy, nowadays monks cress is recommended to treat bronchial and pulmonary irritations and bladder infections thanks to the antibacterial, disinfectant, antifungal, expectorant and mucus thinning properties. Monks grass is also slightly l...
The Coltsfoot, scientific name Tussilago farfara, is a plant belonging to the family of Asteraceae that grows on clayey soils and is characterized by yellow flowers very similar to daisies. Known since ancient times, this remedy has expectorant, anti-catarrhal and anti-inflammatory properties and is used to treat persistent cough, hoarseness, but also bronchitis, pharyngitis and laryngitis, asthma and bronchial catarrh. You can prepare the herbal tea by leaving in infusion a teaspoon of flowers ...
Common mullein, scientific name Verbascum thapsus, is a plant of the Scrofulariaceae family. Already known to the ancients, Pliny indeed prescribed mullein for the respiratory tract infections while Saint Hildegard used, in case of laryngotracheitis, a decoction of flowers of mullein and mauve, today mullein is considered an ideal remedy against diseases of the respiratory tract thanks to its expectorant and anti-inflammatory properties able to sooth cough. You can use mullein to treat pharyngi...
Silver is a trace element, and even though it is not considered essential, it results able to bring benefit to the body thanks to its anti-inflammatory, painkilling, antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Able to inhibit the growth of bacteria, silver was already known to ancient Egyptians and Phoenicians that used to keep water in jars coated with silver in order to purify it and avoid contaminations. As a remedy silver has an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic action especially for what conce...
Drosera rotundifolia, commonly known as common sundews or round-leaved sundew, is a medicinal plant of the Droseracea family. It is a carnivorous plant, the name derives indeed from the Greek droseròs that means covered with dew because of the small drops that cover the leaves and act as bait. This remedy has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, it is an effective cough sedative, muscle relaxant on the airway smooth musculature due to a substance, the droserone contained therein, but als...
The Gallic Rose, also known as rose of Provins or French rose, is admired for its beauty and color but has also important healing properties. You can collect the petals of the rose, let them dry in a cool place and then store them in a paper bag. In this way you will be able to prepare herbal teas with astringent and tonic properties, helpful in case of diarrhea, dysentery, but also inflammation of the digestive tract, poor digestion, sore throat, cold, cough and bronchitis. For external use the...
The primula, scientific name Primula veris or officinalis, belongs to the Primulaceae family, it is a plant characterized by golden and yellow flowers and it grows wild in fields and on the edge of the woods. Its name comes from the Latin primus, indicating that this plant blooms very early, immediately after the melting of the snow. The primula has anti-inflammatory, expectorant, diuretic, analgesic and anti-rheumatic properties as well as a calming effect for heart and nerves. The remedy can b...
Hazel, scientific name Corylus avellana, is a plant belonging to the Betulaceae family. Its glycerine macerate is a remedy in case of bronchitis and, in general, in case of diseases related to the lungs. The glycerine macerate has, in fact, an anti-sclerosis action and prevents that the lungs lose elasticity, that can cause, for example, asthma, emphysema or bronchitis. The glycerine macerate of the hazel, however, is also used in chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis since it acts on connective liver...
Spearmint, also known as Mentha viridis, is a plant of the Lamiaceae family. It has tonic, antiseptic, anesthetic, refreshing, decongestant, digestive and carminative properties. The spearmint is therefore useful to treat bronchitis, catarrh, flatulence and digestive problems but also joint pain and joint stiffness. The latter application is demonstrated by a Canadian study published in December 2014 on the scientific Journal of Medicinal Food. Thank to these properties a brew of spearmint is t...
Glechoma hederacea, commonly known as ground ivy, is one of the Lamiaceae or Labiatae plant family, the same family of sage and mint. Unlike climbing ivy, a different species, it does not climb on the obstacles but prefers to remain at the ground level. The plant is not toxic and is rich in vitamin C, it helps in case of respiratory problems such as cough or asthma, colds and bronchitis, and is a very powerful tonic. It also has diuretic properties and improves the functionality of the stomach a...
Satureja, also called savory, belongs to the Labiatae family. The name comes from satyr because of the aphrodisiac properties of the plant well known also by ancient Greeks, who dedicated satureja to Dionysos, the Greek god of grape harvest, wine and ritual madness. Savory has tonic, energizing, antifermentative, digestive, expectorant, against diarrhea, diuretic and aphrodisiac properties, the last reported also by the well known French herbalist Messèguè. Use this remedy in case of asthenia, ...
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