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Medicinal plants

Pot marigold, flos

(Calendula officinalis, flores)

       Calendula officinalis is an aromatic annual plant, that belongs to the Asteraceae family. Typically, it grows to about half a meter in height. The stems are straight and ramified. The leaves are oblong-lanceolate, hairy on both sides and 5 to 15 cm long with toothed margins. The inflorescences are thick capitula or flower-heads (3-8 cm) surrounded by two rows of hairy bracts. The tubular, hermaphrodite, central flowers are generally, of a more intense orange-yellow colour than the female, tridentate, peripheral flowers. The flower-heads appear all year long. The fruit is a thorny curved achene. Calendula is wonderfully soothing to the skin. Because it is anti-inflammatory, astringent and antimicrobial, it can be used to help heal wounds, cuts, scrapes, rashes, bee stings, burns and bruises. The plant contains large amounts of iodine and manganese, as well as carotene, and all of these attributes promote the regeneration of skin cells. The herb eases digestive disorders, such as colitis, peptic ulcers and gastritis. Calendula is a cleansing and detoxifying herb, good for ailments of the liver and gallbladder. Due to its concentration of carotenoids, calendula flowers are high in antioxidants, which protect against cell-damaging free radicals.


Flax Cultivated, seeds

(Linum isitatissimum, semina)

        Flax is an erect annual plant growing to 1.2 m tall, with slender stems. The leaves are glaucous green, slender lanceolate, 2040 mm long and 3 mm broad. The flowers are pure pale blue, 1525 mm diameter, with five petals; they can also be bright red. The fruit is a round, dry capsule59 mm diameter, containing several glossy brown seeds shaped like an apple pip, 47 mm long.


Lemon balm, leaves

(Melissa officinalis, herba)

        An odorous perennial herb, 0.30.9 m high, usually with several stems, lemonscented on bruising. Stems obtusely quadrangular, furrowed pubescent. Leaves 29cm long and 15 cm wide, ovate to obovate-oval, base cuneate truncate or cordate at the base, densely pilose on both surfaces, petiole 0.23.5 cm long. Corolla white or pinkish; infundibuliform tube 812 mm long; stamens inserted deep in the tube; bracteoles oval-oblong, about 1.5 cm long, pubescent; calyx 59mm long, pubescent outside, pubescent inside (with very short hairs), densely pilose in the middle. It is used externally, for symptomatic treatment of herpes labialis. Orally as a carminative for gastrointestinal disorders, and as a sedative for treatment of nervous disturbances of sleep.


Peppermint, leaves

(Mentha piperita, herba)

        A perennial herb, 3090 cm high. Stems square erect or ascending, branched, the upper portion always quadrangular. Leaves opposite, petiolate, ovateoblong to oblong-lanceolate, serrate, pointed; dark green on the upper surface. Flowers purplish, occur in thick, terminal, spicoid racemes of verticillasters; each flower shows a tubular calyx with 5 sharp, hairy teeth, a purplish, irregular, 4-cleft corolla, 4 short stamens, a 4-celled ovary and a projecting style ending in a bifid stigma. Fruit consists of 4 ellipsoidal nutlets. Is used for the symptomatic treatment of dyspepsia, flatulence and intestinal colic.


Motherwort, herb

(Leonurus quinquelobatus, herba)

       Motherwort is a flowering plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae. From the perennial root-stock rise the square, stout stems, 2 to 3 feet high, erect and branched, principally below, the angles prominent. The leaves are very closely set, the radical ones on slender, long petioles, ovate, lobed and toothed, those on the stem, 2 to 3 inches long, petioled, wedge-shaped; the lower roundish, palmately five-lobed, the lobes trifid at the apex, the upper three-fid, coarsely serrate, reticulately veined, the veinlets prominent beneath, with slender, curved hairs. The uppermost leaves and bracts are very narrow and entire, or only with a tooth on each side, and bear in their axils numerous whorls of pinkish, or nearly white, sessile flowers, six to fifteen in a whorl. The corollas, though whitish on the outside, are stained with paler or darker purple within. They have rather short tubes and nearly flat upper lips, very hairy above, with long, woolly hairs. The two front stamens are the longest and the anthers are sprinkled with hard, shining dots. The plant blossoms in August. It has rather a pungent odour and a very bitter taste. It is a dull green, the leaves paler below, pubescent, especially on the angles of the stem and the underside of the leaves, the hairs varying much in length and abundance. Medicinal Uses - diaphoretic, antispasmodic, tonic, nervine, emmenagogue. Motherwort is especially valuable in female weakness and disorders (hence the name), allaying nervous irritability and inducing quiet and passivity of the whole nervous system. As a tonic, it acts without producing febrile excitement, and in fevers, attended with nervousness and delirium, it is extremely useful.


Matricaria recutita, flos

(Chamomilla recutita, flores)

       An annual plant of the composite family Asteraceae. The branched stem is erect and smooth and grows to a height of 15-60 cm. The long and narrow leaves are bipinnate or tripinnate. The flowers are borne in paniculate capitula. The white ray florets are furnished with a ligule, while the disc florets are yellow. The hollow receptacle is swollen and lacks scales. The flowers have a strong, aromatic smell, and bloom in early to mid summer. The herb is valuable for pain, indigestion, acidity, gas, gastritis, bloating, and colic. It is also used for hiatus hernia, peptic ulcer, Crohn's disease, and irritable bowel syndrome. German chamomile, which contains spiroether, a very strong antispasmodic, relaxes tense, aching muscles and eases menstrual pain. It also relieves irritability and promotes sleep, especially in children. German chamomile is useful for hay fever and asthma. The proazulenes in the herb produce chamazulenes on steam distillation, which is markedly anti-allergenic. Externally, it can be applied to sore, itchy skin & eczema. It also relieves eyestrain.


Valerian, rhizoma with roots

(Valeriana officinalis, rhizoma cum radicibus)

        A tall perennial herb whose underground portion consists of a vertical rhizome bearing numerous rootlets and one or more stolons. The aerial portion consists of a cylindrical hollow, channelled stem attaining 2m in height, branched in the terminal region, bearing opposite exstipulate, pinnatisect, cauline leaves with clasping petioles. The inflorescence consists of racemes of cymes whose flowers are small, white, or pink. The fruits are oblong-ovate, 4-ridged, single-seeded achenes. Is used as a digestive aid, and an adjuvant in spasmolytic states of smooth muscle and gastrointestinal pains of nervous origin. And as a mild sedative and sleep-promoting agent.


Threelobe beggarticks, herb

(Bidens tripartita, herba)

        The Threelobe Beggarticks has green foliage and conspicuous yellow flowers, with conspicuous brown fruits or seeds. The greatest bloom is usually observed in the late summer, with fruit and seed production starting in the fall and continuing until fall.Leaves are not retained year to year. The Threelobe Beggarticks has a short life span relative to most other plant species and a rapid growth rate. At maturity, the typicalThreelobe Beggarticks will reach up to 3.5 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of 3.5 feet.


Purple coneflowers, herb

(Echinaceae purpurea, herba)

        A hardy, herbaceous perennial. Stems erect, stout, branched, hirsute or glabrous, 60180 cm high; basal leaves ovate to ovate-lanceolate, acute, coarsely or sharply serrate, petioles up to 25 cm long, blades to 20 cm long and 15cm wide, blade abruptly narrowing to base, often cordate, decurrent on petiole, 35 veined; cauline leaves petiolate below, sessile above, 720 cm long, 1.58cm broad, coarsely serrate to entire, rough to the touch on both surfaces; phyllaries linear-lanceolate, attenuate, entire, pubescent on outer surface, ciliate, passing into the chaff; heads 1.53cm long and 510mm broad, purplish; pales 913mm long, awn half as long as body; disc corollas 4.55.5mm long, lobes 1mm long; achene 44.5 mm long, pappus a low crown of equal teeth; pollen grains yellow, 1921?m in diameter. Herba Echinaceae Purpureae is administered orally in supportive therapy for colds and infections of the respiratory and urinary tract. Beneficial effects in the treatment of these infections are generally thought to be brought about by stimulation of the immune response. External uses include promotion of wound healing and treatment of inflammatory skin conditions.


Sage, leaves

(Salvia officinalis, folia)

        Salvia officinalis, is a short-lived semi-woody shrub that gets up to 2 ft (0.6 m) tall with a similar spread. It has intensely aromatic, thick, wooly, gray-green or multi-colored, oval leaves to 3 in (7.6 cm) long. They are 'pebbly', like seersucker, with conspicuous veins on the underside and arranged in opposing pairs on the square stem. The leaves have a lemony, slightly bitter fragrance, reminiscent of rosemary. The stem is green at first, then becomes woody in its second year. Flowers are blue, lilac or white, with two lips, and borne in erect axillary racemes. It is a member of the mint family, Lamiaceae.