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Hypericum, scientific name Hypericum perforatum, is a well-known and appreciated medicinal plant of the Clusiaceae family. Hypericum is also called St. John's Wort since its maximum flowering falls around June 24, St. John's Day. This plant is a natural remedy that can be used both internally, in fact, it is able to counteract depression, and for topical applications. In this post we will focus our attention on its cosmetic properties and on the effects of external uses of hypericum, in particul...
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...
Turmeric oil, the amazing oil for beauty and health
Turmeric, scientific name Curcuma longa, is a plant native to Asia. Its orange root is characterized by amazing healthy properties and can be found as a powder or whole root. Thanks to an active substance, the curcumin, the spice shows antimicrobial properties, thus resulting useful to counteract virus and bacteria, and an anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antioxidant and anticancer action. In addition to this, turmeric is also able to protect the brain from degenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer...
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...
Pellitory of the wall
Parietaria officinalis, also known as pellitory of the wall, upright pellitory or lichwort, is a plant of the Urticaceae family that includes also the nettle. The people who suffer from seasonal allergies surely have heard of the pellitory since its pollen can cause sneezing, rhinitis and asthma. However, the pellitory has also beneficial properties for the health. Properties - The remedy, taken orally, shows a diuretic, emollient and purifying effect, useful in case of water retention, stones...
The Swedish bitter is a preparation obtained by maceration of various medicinal herbs and characterized by several and interesting properties and applications. Its formulation is attributed to Paracelsus, a Swiss doctor, alchemist and astrologer of the sixteenth century who called this powerful and, for that time, truly portentous product, Elixir Ad Longam Vitam, or elixir for a long life. Nowadays we know this natural remedy thanks to the well-known Austrian herbalist Maria Treben who, in her f...
Balsam of Peru
Balsam of Peru, also known as black balsam, China oil or Indian balsam, is an oleoresin that looks like a viscous liquid of dark color. This product is obtained from the trunk of the Myroxylon balsamum tree, belonging to the Fabaceae family, widespread in Central America. Although the name may not say much, actually the Balsam of Peru is more widespread than you think since it can be found into the formulation of cosmetic products, from lipsticks to creams, shampoos, deodorants, talc and perfume...
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...
Sunflower oil, cosmetic use for beauty
Through the pressing of the seeds of the sunflower plant, scientific name Helianthus annuus, you get an oil that can be used both for cooking and in cosmetics for the beauty of the skin of face, body and hands. We dedicate this post precisely to the possible applications of sunflower seed oil as a cosmetic product. This oil is a source of essential fatty acids, mainly linoleic acid and, to a lesser extent, oleic acid (Meydani et al, J Am Coll Nutr, Oct 1991). It is the high percentage of linolei...
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 ...
Stemless carline thistle
Stemless carline thistle, also known as dwarf carline thistle, scientific name carlina acaulis, is a plant of the Asteraceae family. This remedy has tonic, draining, digestive and diuretic properties and therefore helps to counteract cellulite, improves digestion and supports the work of the liver. You can prepare a decoction in this way, bring to a boil a cup of water together with a tablespoon of carlina roots, let it simmer for a couple of minutes, filter and let it cool down, then drink a cu...
Bugle, scientific name Ajuga reptans, is an evergreen plant that belongs to the Lamiaceae family. It is also known as St. Lawrence plant, blue bugle, common bugle or carpet bugleweed, and is characterized by interesting anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, antiseptic and astringent properties. It can be applied to treat problems of the skin, hair, but also for digestive problems. For external use it is possible to prepare an infusion and use it to gargle, in order to counteract red gums, to clean wo...
Rosa canina, also known as rosehip, belongs to the Rosaceae family, it is a very common wild rose used in bushes and on the edges of the garden for its ornamental role. But rosehip isn’t just pleasant to see but it is also an essential ingredient for our beauty, as ancient Egyptians and Greeks well knew and appreciated. From this rose a very versatile oil is obtained, this oil is useful for all types of skin, is rich in vitamin A, C and E, antioxidants, anti inflammatory substances and fatty ac...
The African Kigelia, known as the sausage tree due to the elongated shape of its fruit, is a typical plant of tropical Africa. From Kigelia very interesting preparations for our beauty are obtained. The creams prepared with Kigelia extract have in fact antioxidant, firming and nourishing properties and are able also to stimulate the microcirculation. Thanks to these effects, the creams based on extracts of kigelia are very appreciated to protect the skin from damages of the sunlight and to tone ...
Common centaury, scientific name Centaurium erythraea, is a plant belonging to the Genzianaceae family. Its name comes from the centaur Chiron, a figure of Greek mythology skilled in medicinal herbs. According to myth, Chiron used the Centaurea to treat a wound caused by a poisoned arrow shot by Hercules. Beyond the myth, the Centaurea is characterized by interesting health and beneficial properties for digestion but also for the skin. For internal use, the remedy can be used as an infusion or m...
The common comfrey, scientific name Symphytum officinale, is a plant belonging to the Boraginaceae family characterized by hanging flowers with a color ranging from white to violet. This plant is also known as cultivated comfrey, knitbone, consound or slippery-root. The common comfrey is very useful as a herbal remedy and is also mentioned for its healing properties by the famous German herbalist Maria Treben in her books. The roots of this plant, in fact, in the form of tincture or poultices, r...
Hoary willowherb, scientific name Epilobium parviflorum, is a plant of the Onagracee family characterized by antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The remedy is used specially to treat problems related to prostate, to the urinary tract and to the skin. Hoary willowherb is useful in case of prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia, because an active substance contained in the plant has the ability to inhibit the proliferation of prostaglandin. This use, that comes from tradition, yo...
Prunella, scientific name prunella vulgaris, also known as common self-heal or woundwort, is a plant of the Lamiaceae family, which is characterized by anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiseptic, astringent, healing and purifying properties. For internal use, the remedy can bring relief in case of migraine, high blood pressure, seasonal illnesses, since it acts by supporting the immune system, and diarrhea, while for external use the prunella is useful to accelerate the healing of wounds, inflam...
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 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...
Shea tree, scientific name Vitellaria paradoxa, is a plant of the Sapotaceae family, very widespread in Africa. From its seeds, improperly called nuts of shea tree, the famous shea butter is obtained, used both as a seasoning in African cooking tradition and as a base ingredient in various cosmetic products after removing any impurities. Shea butter is emollient, moisturizing, antioxidant due to the content of vitamins such as E, and nutritious. It helps the skin to remain elastic, soft, acts as...
Manuka honey is a honey produced from the nectar of the flowers of manuka, scientific name Leptospermum scoparum, a tree growing in New Zealand. This type of honey has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, according to the article published in 2008 on the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food research by a team of researchers of the University of Dresden. The researchers have found that the responsible for the antibacterial activity of this type of honey is the substance called Methylgl...
Iceland moss, scientific name of Cetraria Island, is a plant belonging to the Cetrariacee-Parmeliaceae family with tonic, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antacid, antiemetic, fluidizing and antispasmodic properties. As a remedy can be used both internally and externally. Internally, it can be useful in case of nausea, vomiting even during pregnancy, but in this case it is always better to ask your doctor for advice, car or sea sickness, digestive problems. Iceland moss is also used to treat coughs th...
Hop or common hop, humulus lupulus, is a medicinal plant of the Cannabaceae family. Hops, indicated by Saint Hildegard as a remedy against melancholy, are a basic ingredient of beer, they give it in fact the bitter taste, but in addition to this hops have also interesting draining, sedative, antibacterial and even anticancer properties, as reported in a 2016 study and published on the journal Science Research in Toxicology by a team of researchers of the University of Illinois. According to the ...
Meadowsweet or spiraea ulmaria, scientific name Filipendula ulmaria, belongs to the Rosaceae family. Although it is different, from the esthetic point of view, from the rose, it is very close relative, because both have in common a very intense smell. Known and also used by King Alboin to treat gout, we now know that the meadowsweet has important and demonstrated diuretic properties that make it a remedy to treat edema of the legs, joint effusion, gout, rheumatism, kidney colic and stones of the...
Rubus fructicosus is a spontaneous bush belonging to Rosaceae family together with rose, strawberry, apple tree and raspberry. Its fruits, the wild blackberries, are delicious and have also important healthful properties against constipation, they improve digestion and soothe inflammations of the mouth and throat. But you can use also leaves, flowers and roots as a remedy to treat wounds and ulcers, to strengthen the gums, to heal hemorrhoids and against sour stomach or diarrhea. Remedy also for...
Thymus serpyllum, also known as Breckland thyme, wild thyme or creeping thyme, grows naturally in very sunny areas at the edge of woods or meadows. It belongs to the Lamiaceae family and has very similar properties to those of the thymus but it differs for a more delicate aroma due to the fact that it contains less essential oils than the true thyme, the one used in the kitchen. Wild thyme acts as a stimulant and tonic, has digestive and carminative, antispasmodic, diuretic, antiseptic, expector...
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...
Hogweed, also called cow parsnip, is a perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the Apiaceae or Umbelliferae family. The plant grows wild in the meadows and woods and its scientific name is Heracleum spondylium, that refers to Heracles, the hero of Greek mythology known for his strong and powerful physique: the stem of the plant can reach indeed a very large size up to 2 meters. Well known by the peoples of the north, the hogweed can be used in case of ulcers, wounds, pimples, abscesses and insec...
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