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Since ancient times, honey has been considered a source of important healthy properties, so much that this precious product of bees also appears in various myths and legends, like the one that little Zeus was fed with honey and goat's milk. Well, honey seems really a food worthy of the Gods! There are different types of honey obtained from the different plants used by bees, such as chestnut, citrus or linden just to mention a few examples. Another difference is given by the raw or processed hone...
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...
Eucalyptus is a plant native to Oceania belonging to the Mirtaceae family. It is also a melliferous plant from which a special, dense, thick and amber-colored honey is obtained. This honey is characterized by balsamic, antiseptic and antibacterial properties and is a powerful source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substances such as quercetin, kaempferol, luteolin and ellagic acid, present independently of the honey's area of origin and therefore a distinctive feature of eucalyptus honey (M...
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...
Natural cosmetics, like kings and queens Part 8, lemon balm honey for the Nefertari’s bath
Nefertari was a queen of Ancient Egypt, the wife of Ramses the Great, who dedicated her a temple that still fascinates all the people who have the opportunity to admire it, majestic and timeless, able to defy the centuries and the works of humans, Abu Simbel, set in the southernmost part of Egypt, in Aswan. Nefertari was much loved by Ramses and, as they say, also very beautiful and she took care of her beauty with ointments, creams and baths. Between history and legend, today we take inspiratio...
Cypress, mother tincture and extract
The cypress, scientific name cupressus, is a plant of the family Cupressaceae characterized by the typical candle-like and tapered shape. But the cypress is not just a beautiful ornamental tree, it has also important healthy properties. In a previous post we have already seen its use in the form of decoction, now we focus the attention on two preparations that you can easily find in herbalist’s or chemist’s shops, the fluid extract and the mother tincture. The fluid extract, obtained from the be...
Turnip greens, scientific name Brassica rapa sylvestris of the Cruciferous family, are a vegetable of Italian origin but nowadays spread also in other parts of the world such as America and Australia. The turnip greens are characterized by dark green leaves and inflorescences, called broccoletti or broccoli of turnip. The healthy properties are truly remarkable, in fact these vegetables bring vitamins, such as C, group B and A, folic acid and mineral salts such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, ...
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...
Honeydew honey differs from nectar honey for the raw material used by bees to produce honey. In nectar honey in fact the bees use, as its name suggests, the nectar of the flowers that is then transformed with bees’ enzymes in honey. But in wooded areas there are not always flowers to get nectar from, hence the solution is given by honeydew, captured by bees and then converted into honey. The honeydew is secreted by the plants themselves or by insects that feed on the sap of trees such as silver ...
Clover or trefoil is an herbaceous plant belonging to the Fabaceae or Leguminosae family and owes its name to the fact that it is characterized by three leaflets. From the clover you get a special honey, which is very light in color and has a delicate flavor. The clover honey is energizing, prebiotic with a beneficial effect on the bacteria of the gut, but it is also able to strengthen and stimulate the immune system. Together with manuka honey, the clover honey is able indeed to counteract in v...
Blackberries are the fruits of a plant, scientific name Rubus ulmifolius, belonging to the Rosaceae family. Blackberries have interesting healthy properties and, based on data reported in the database edited by the Department of Agriculture of the United States of America, these fruits are rich in vitamin C (21 mg per 100 grams of blackberries), important to support the immune system, to fight free radicals, to absorb iron and to regenerate the skin, K (almost 20 micrograms per 100 g, about a th...
The caraway, also called cumin, scientific name carum carvi, is a plant of the Apiaceae family whose seeds are widely used, especially for cooking in northern Europe, to flavor different dishes thanks to the taste that reminds that of anise and fennel. These seeds are also characterized by interesting healthy properties, in fact they contain proteins and fibers and are also a source of mineral salts, such as phosphorus, copper, magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron, and vitamins, such as A, B, ...
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 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...
Robinia pseudoacacia, commonly known as black locust or false acacia, is a tree that belongs to the Fabaceae family. Thanks to this plant one of the best known and well appreciated honey is obtained. This honey is characterized by a light yellow color and a liquid consistency, it has a delicate taste and it also very versatile, it is highly digestible and energizing and for this reason it is the ideal choice for a breakfast or snack for sporty people or for those people who are going through a v...
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 ...
Grapefruit, scientific name citrus paradisi, is a plant belonging to the Rutaceae family whose fruits are appreciated as a basis for juices or smoothies. However, today we aren’t speaking about the grapefruit pulp but about the seeds, that are contained inside the fruit. From these seeds an extract for external use with antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral and antioxidant properties is obtained, this extract is indeed able to act on the structure of the cell membrane of the pathogens and therefo...
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...
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...
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...
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