Medicinal plants are plants whose organs serve as raw materials for products used in traditional medicine. Today there is a large list of diseases that do not allow sick people to use medicines for a long time. For example, if a drug has many side effects, or an individual intolerance to the components that make up them. Often, in such cases, physicians prescribe medicinal herbs. This treatment is called phytotherapy.
The use of medicinal plants is possible due to the presence of certain substances in their composition: enzymes, hormones, phytoncides, vitamins, etc. There is no doubt that all these substances are part of medicinal herbs in a small amount, but still phytotherapy helps the body (especially with the traditional medicine) will be free from many diseases.
Today, modern traditional medicine uses about 250 types of medicinal herbs. Only 50 species are cultivated, and the rest of the variety grows in wildlife. It follows that the main consumption of plants is in the flora. But before going to the preparation of medicinal raw materials, you must clearly know which herbs you need to collect and how to do it correctly. Be sure to use decoctions or tinctures should consult with your doctor.
- Tendency to the formation of thrombosis - designate broths of cherries, wormwood, chamomile, figs, clovers, etc.
- Diseases of the digestive system - chamomile, eucalyptus tincture, sage.
- The failure of the thymus gland - knotweed, lungwort, couch grass.
- Low immunity - elecampane, ginseng.
- Problems with the genitourinary system - wild strawberry, calendula.
To date, there are several groups of medicinal herbs:
- Official medicinal plants - raw materials, the production of which is allowed in the country.
- Medicinal herbs of alternative medicine (folk) - an extensive category of herbs, but their useful properties remain poorly understood and are considered ineffective. However, despite this, these medicines are widely used "among the people."
- Pharmacopoeia Medicinal Herbs - this group includes plants with quality standards contained in the State Pharmacopoeia.
In any medicinal plant contains at least one substance with medicinal properties. As a rule, this substance is unevenly distributed throughout the plant, and is only contained in its specific part. It follows that when collecting medicinal herbs, you need to know exactly where this substance is collected (root, flowers, leaves).
For internal use are: infusion (water or alcohol oily), decoction. For outdoor purposes, lotions, compresses, herbal baths are suitable.
Collection of medicinal raw materials
In order to collect medicinal plants, you need to be able to accurately determine their species. It is important to know that an error in the collection and procurement of material can play a big adverse effect. It is also necessary to know exactly which parts of the plants are collected and the dates (including the seasons), the areola of plant growth, methods of processing and preparation of medicinal raw materials. Do not forget about the precautions, if it is assumed harvesting of poisonous plants.
- Kidney collected in early spring, at the moment when they have not yet dissolved, but have already gone to growth. If the buds have blossomed, they are no longer considered medicinal raw materials. They collect the kidneys with a light pressure from the top down, but in no case do not pull off.
- Bark harvested directly from young plants (at the time of bud swelling). It was during this period that the bark is rich in nutrients and is easily removed from the trunk. The tree produces 2 half-rings with a sharp knife, the distance of which is about 20−30 cm from each other and connect them with several longitudinal cuts. The resulting strips are peeled off in the direction of the lower transverse notch, before reaching it leave a piece of bark to dry a little. It is impossible to chip the bark from the trees, since such raw materials with residual wood will be unsuitable for use.
- Leaves harvested during flowering plants. However, this does not apply to all types of herbs. For example, in coltsfoot leaves appear only after the process of flowering plants. In bearberry leaves are able to hibernate under the snow. Therefore, they can be collected in early spring. Leaves are torn from top to bottom with the stem or completely without it. Some plants mow or cut the entire above-ground part completely (for example, nettle).
- FlowersAs a rule, they are collected at the very beginning of flowering of a plant - at this time they contain the greatest concentration of useful substances. Inflorescences tear hands or cut with a knife.
- Grass harvested during flowering. Ground stems are cut with a knife, shears or sickle. Be sure to remove yellowed, damaged or heavily soiled leaves.
- Roots tubers dig in the fall, at the moment when the above-ground part of the plant is already fading. After digging, the soil is removed from the roots and washed with water. Digging up the roots of plants during their flowering period is unacceptable.
- Fruits and seeds collected, as a rule, after their full maturation. However, in some plants, the fruits or seeds fall off after they have ripened, and in this case it is important to procure raw materials up to this point. When collecting fruits (seeds), it is necessary to remember that they do not fall into the raw materials of other types of herbs. It is preferable to collect the fruits of plants in cloudy, dry weather, and on hot days it is better to do this in the mornings and evenings. I pick berries carefully, so as not to crush them in my hands or in a collection container. Wash fruit before drying is not recommended.
Description and properties
- Althaea officinalis. The roots of this plant are used in expectorant, emollient, anesthetics. Contraindications: pregnancy, diabetes. Be wary when using breastfeeding.
- Valerian. It is indicated for sleep disorders, nervous excitations. Promotes expansion of heart vessels, relieve spasms of the digestive system, has antihelminthic action. Contraindications: enterocolitis, blood clotting.
- Nard high. It is indicated for the normalization of the normal functions of the gastrointestinal tract, in diseases of the urogenital organs. It has a diuretic, sedative, antimicrobial, antihelminthic, choleretic and anti-inflammatory action. Contraindications: pregnancy, lactation, kidney disease.
- Ginseng. Promotes recovery of strength and immunity after a long illness. And also normalizes pressure, stimulates heart activity, mental activity. Well helps to raise the appetite. Contraindications: pregnancy, inflammatory diseases, irritability.
- Wild strawberry is used for anemia, and is also effective for removing toxins from the body. It is indicated for kidney disease, liver, tuberculosis, hypertension, heart failure. Contraindications: allergies, pregnancy, breastfeeding period.
- Stinging nettle Indications: rheumatism, atherosclerosis, hemorrhoids, constipation, dropsy, indigestion. It has laxative, tonic, wound-healing, vitamin and other properties. Contraindications: pregnancy, increased blood clotting, kidney disease.
- Burdock Applied as a wound healing, firming, diuretic. Effective with skin diseases, inflammatory processes of the oral cavity, gastrointestinal tract. Promotes the removal of toxins, blood purification, normalizes the function of the liver, kidneys, gallbladder. Contraindications: pregnancy, lactation, idiosyncrasy.
- Peppermint. Eliminates headaches, insomnia, nervous disorders. It has a positive effect in the treatment of asthma, stomach ulcers, colds, inflammatory processes in the throat, stomach. Contraindications: overdose can cause deterioration of sleep. Mint oil can not be pregnant and children under the age of six years.
- Medicinal marigolds (Calendula) - bactericidal agent. Effective in the treatment of inflammations of the throat, mouth, gallbladder, gastritis, stomach ulcers. As well as nails reduce nervous irritability, blood pressure. Contraindications: low blood pressure (by ingestion), individual intolerance. With care during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- Dandelion. It has antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory properties. Used as a diuretic and choleretic agent. Stimulates the immune system, normalizes blood sugar, normalizes the liver, gallbladder. Contraindications: gastritis with high acidity, gastric ulcer, idiosyncrasy, gallstones. With caution during pregnancy and lactation.
Useful properties of medicinal plants
The properties of medicinal plants are numerous and varied. Each plant element produces special substances that affect the immune, nervous, cardiovascular systems, and also restores the energy balance of a person.
When using medicinal plants in medicine and pharmaceuticals, specialists subdivide them into several main groups, depending on the main active substances. Each group is characterized by the presence of certain therapeutic properties:
- Alkaloids - this group includes plants such as periwinkle, belladonna, ephedra and pilocarpus. The properties of these plants are quite numerous, characterized by a wide spectrum of action. Beneficial effect on the human immune, circulatory and nervous system. Contribute to the normalization of most physiological processes.
- The group of salons includes St. John's wort, kidney tea, primrose, cyanosis rhizome. Plants included in this group are characterized by the presence of diuretic, choleretic, expectorant, diaphoretic, emetic properties, and in addition, they contribute to a decrease in blood pressure.
- Glycosides - this group includes lily of the valley, foxglove and adonis. These plants are quite toxic, and therefore should be used in medical practice with extreme caution, mainly to combat cardiovascular diseases.
- Bitter glycosides - include plants such as the centaury, dandelions and buckwheat. This group of healing herbs helps to normalize the functioning of the digestive tract, activates appetite and gastric peristalsis, improves the process of digestion.
- Healing essential oils are found in plants such as sage, mint, lemon balm, juniper, wormwood, eucalyptus, valerian, oregano. Characterized by the presence of antihelmintic, sedative, analgesic, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and vasodilator properties.
- The group of flavonoids includes buckwheat, hawthorn, black chokeberry, tansy and licorice root. The above plants have bactericidal and choleretic properties, help cleanse the body of harmful substances of radioactive action.
- Healing resins are obtained from plants such as birch, pine, myrrh and rhubarb. They differ in the presence of wound healing, laxative, anti-rotten and antibacterial properties.
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What is the benefit of such plants?
The use of medicinal plants in the medical and pharmacological field is characterized by a number of indisputable advantages. Unlike most drugs, herbal medicines are non-toxic, natural, bioavailable, have a minimum of contraindications and possible adverse reactions.
In addition, doctors point to the following useful properties of medicinal plants:
- Mild and gentle effect on the patient.
- A wide range of applications.
- Virtually no intolerance to existing components.
- Providing a complex effect on the entire body.
- Easy assimilation processes.
- High rates of effectiveness in the fight against pathogens of the viral type.
- The possibility of using medicinal plants as a constituent element of complex drug therapy in combination with other drugs, including antibiotics.
Due to their mild exposure and the absence of aggressive chemicals, most medicinal plants can be safely prescribed in the treatment of pregnant and lactating mothers, elderly patients, as well as young children.
What diseases are suitable for the treatment?
The range of use of medicinal plants is very wide. Experts are actively using them to combat these diseases:
- disturbances in the functioning of the respiratory system,
- diseases of a chronic nature, with frequent relapses,
- dermatological diseases
- violations in the functioning of the heart and blood vessels,
- pathologies affecting the respiratory system,
- urinary tract diseases
- nervous diseases
- disturbances in the functioning of the neuroendocrine system.
In addition, many medicinal plants and medicines based on them are used to strengthen the human immune system.
Methods of using medicinal plants in medicine
Methods of application of medicinal plants in the field of medicine and pharmaceuticals are divided into two main categories: internal and external. Medicines based on medicinal plants are ingested in the form of infusions, decoctions, herbal teas, syrups, extracts and powders.
For the implementation of topical treatment using an external method, powders, compresses from infusions and decoctions, as well as ointments from medicinal plants are used.
How to prepare infusions?
Healing infusions of medicinal plants can be used for oral administration, as well as the preparation of compresses and lotions. In order to make an infusion, you will need a spoonful of crushed medicinal herbs (the plant is selected taking into account its properties, depending on the diagnosis of the patient and functional purpose) and a glass of pure water.
In the hot cooking method, vegetable raw materials need to be filled with boiling water and boil for about 15 minutes over low heat. After that, the tincture is cooled and filtered using the same gauze fabric.
Powders from medicinal herbs are suitable for both ingestion and for local, outdoor use. For the preparation of such a powder, first of all, you need to prepare the raw material - to dry the medicinal plant thoroughly.
The method of preparation itself is extremely simple: the plant is thoroughly crushed to a powdery state (this can be done with the help of an ordinary coffee grinder or a special mortar, like real herbalists). The medicine obtained is stored in a darkened place, in any vessel with a tight-fitting lid.
Alcohol tinctures from medicinal plants
Herbal tinctures based on medicinal alcohol are characterized by a particularly strong effect, and therefore are taken in minimal concentrations agreed with your doctor. Be sure to dilute alcohol herbal tinctures in clean water!
Raw materials insist on alcohol for a period of time from 10 days to 2-3 months. The resulting medicine is saved in a glass bottle, which is recommended to tightly close the lid and put in a dark place, protected from the penetration of sunlight. With proper storage, herbal tincture based on herbs preserves its healing amazing properties for several years.
На основе лекарственных трав можно также приготовить целебную мазь, которая впоследствии используется для компрессов и лечебных аппликаций. В качестве сырья для мазей специалисты используют как сырые, так и сушеные травы.
In order to get an ointment, the phytoelement used is necessarily combined with a substance that has an astringent effect. For these purposes, you can use butter or vegetable oil, lard, petroleum jelly or lanolin.
It should be noted that the term of saving ointments made on the basis of animal fats is short and can be no more than a few weeks.
Herbal decoctions are considered one of the most common methods of using medicinal plants. Such funds are absorbed by the body for a little longer than infusions, but they have a longer and more pronounced effect.
However, phytotherapy experts still do not advise abusing herbal decoctions, because when boiling some active substances of plants are destroyed. The maximum storage time of vegetable decoctions is two days.
Possible undesirable reactions
Despite the fact that herbal remedies are usually tolerated very well by patients, without side effects, in some cases the likelihood of the following undesirable reactions still exists:
- temporary erectile dysfunction,
- allergic reactions
- bouts of vomiting,
- stomach upset,
- general weakness and drowsiness,
- bouts of dizziness,
It is worth noting that the above unpleasant symptoms usually occur when using medicinal plants with toxic effects, with their prolonged use and non-compliance with the recommended dosage.
How to use medicinal plants?
Experts identify the following rules for the use of medicinal plants, which must be followed during treatment:
- Use this or that plant only if there are appropriate indications. Otherwise, the risks of weakening the immune system and other disorders are high.
- Herbal preparations with a strong effect can be used for no more than one or two weeks in a row. The therapeutic course, if necessary, can be repeated, making a mandatory temporary pause.
- The maximum duration of treatment with any medicinal plants should be no more than two months.
- Take herbal preparations before eating food, preferably half an hour before meals.
- During treatment with medicinal plants, refuse to drink alcoholic beverages and heavy, fatty foods.
- Take herbal remedies regularly and systematically. In case of a break in treatment, the therapeutic course is recommended to start from the very beginning.
- It is necessary to drink drugs based on medicinal herbs in the dosage recommended by the attending physician on an individual basis.
- Prepare herbal infusions and decoctions every day, because they start to deteriorate very quickly and can lose their important properties.
- Use for medical purposes only high-quality vegetable raw materials. Buy herbs in pharmacy chains or in specialized shops with a good reputation.
- Store herbal raw materials in containers that are tightly closed with lids. It is recommended to save herbs in a place protected from moisture, dust and sun rays.
- Before taking any medicinal plant, be sure to consult with your doctor, because each plant has certain contraindications and restrictions. Also, a specialist will be able to choose the optimal dosage and duration of the treatment course!
When are medicinal plants contraindicated?
The main contraindication to the use of medicinal plants is the patient's increased tendency to allergic reactions, as well as individual intolerance to certain plant substances. Each individual plant has its own limitations for use.
Contraindications to the use of the most common medicinal plants are as follows:
- Aloe is contraindicated in hepatic pathologies, uterine bleeding and cystitis. Not recommended for expectant mothers.
- Immortelle is forbidden to apply to people suffering from hypertension and arterial hypertension.
- Elecampane is contraindicated in patients with renal diseases, as well as women awaiting the appearance of a baby.
- Nettle can be dangerous for patients with elevated blood clotting, atherosclerosis, and hypertension.
- Ledumberry is not suitable for patients suffering from hepatitis, pancreatitis, disorders in the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, peptic ulcer.
- Birch leaves and birch sap are forbidden to be used for any renal diseases, and in addition, for diagnosed renal failure.
- Verbena is not used to treat young babies, pregnant women and breastfeeding women. Drugs based on this plant are contraindicated in the presence of intestinal diseases and a tendency to an increase in blood pressure.
- Highlander is contraindicated in patients with renal pathologies and diseases of the bladder.
- Watch leaves are not prescribed to patients suffering from iodine intolerance, impaired functioning of the thyroid gland and the endocrine system.
- Hawthorn - contraindicated to apply with hypotension and a pronounced tendency to lower blood pressure.
A preliminary consultation with your doctor will help establish the presence or absence of contraindications to the use of a medicinal plant, making the therapeutic course extremely effective, and most importantly, completely safe!
However, with prolonged and uncontrolled use, even natural products can cause significant health damage. Therefore, before the very beginning of treatment with medicinal plants, it is necessary to consult with a specialist and in the future to strictly follow his recommendations!
This plant is unpretentious at growth, therefore it can be met on stony soils and in mountain forests. It tolerates temperature fluctuations, but does not tolerate excessive moisture. Flowering begins in late spring. Fruits appear in the fall and can persist until the end of winter.
In folk medicine, the roots, fruits and leaves of this plant are used. Is the barberry useful in dried form? The answer to this question is positive, since it does not lose its useful properties after drying.
Fruits: useful properties
What are useful barberry berries? The fruits of this plant are very often used in traditional medicine, because they have such an effect on the body:
- normalizes high body temperature
- soothe the nervous system as a result of stressful situations or emotional upheavals,
- are choleretic and anti-inflammatory agent,
- contribute to the active work of the thyroid gland,
- improve the functioning of the urogenital system.
Therefore, the berries of this plant are used in the treatment of such diseases:
- high blood pressure
- diseases of the renal and hepatic system caused by inflammatory processes,
It is important to know! Broths, infusions and other medicines prepared on the basis of the fruits of this plant, purify the blood from harmful substances!
Root: useful properties
The bark and roots of this plant have many healing properties. Broths based on them are used to treat such diseases:
- stomach cramps
- constipation or diarrhea,
- arterial hypertension.
In addition to the above problems, the root of the barberry relieves inflammation.
It is important to know! The root of this plant contributes to increased appetite! Therefore, in the period of weight loss is better to refrain from its use.
Dried barberries: useful properties
What is useful dried barberry? Fruits, roots, leaves of this plant when drying do not lose their beneficial properties. Therefore, many people who grow barberry bushes in the garden plot, try to make as many blanks as possible. Broths based on this shrub are particularly relevant during the cold season. Since their use helps to remove fever, as well as improve the functioning of the immune system.
As for the hot season, when berries do not grow on shrubs yet, dried fruits are especially popular because they quench their thirst. Of these, you can make a variety of drinks, such as compote, kvass, tea.
Useful properties for women
Is the barberry useful for women? It's no secret that many women in the pursuit of perfect beauty want to lose weight. Therefore, a variety of diets are used for this purpose. Does the barberry for weight loss? This plant is not recommended for use as a condiment, as it causes appetite. Namely, almost every woman is fighting with him. Useful substances of barberry can be obtained if you cook from it juices, compotes, teas. Since this plant is extremely low calorie, that is, it can be consumed in unlimited quantities.
In addition to this property, the use of barberry in the food improves the composition of blood, which significantly slows the aging process. The skin has a healthy appearance, without the appearance of defects in the form of wrinkles.
Useful properties for men
This plant is also actively used among men. Since the use of drugs prepared on its basis has such an effect on the body:
- Cleansing the liver and gallbladder. Barberry is used to relieve inflammatory processes in these organs. It is also an excellent prophylactic agent for the occurrence of kidney stones and gall bladder. Improves the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract.
- The elimination of toxins and other harmful substances from the body of a man. Due to this effect, barberry is actively used to prevent the development of malignant tumors.
- Antimicrobial action. The plant is used in diseases of the respiratory tract, urogenital system and gastrointestinal tract.
- Diarrhea. Barberry has an astringent effect on the body, as well as relieves inflammation in the walls of the rectum.
- Treatment of dermatological diseases. Men are often concerned about diseases such as psoriasis or eczema. To eliminate the inflammation of the skin should be added to the usual cream a little broth barberry in the ratio of 1:10. Treatment of the skin with this cream will significantly improve their condition.
- The composition of the berries includes a large amount of vitamin C, which helps strengthen the immune system, as well as alleviate the state during the depression.
- Lowering blood pressure. Modern men often have hypertension. Relieve the condition and reduce blood pressure will help the broth prepared on the basis of barberry.
Also, decoctions based on this plant are used as a styptic.
Important to remember! Before using barberry for the treatment of certain diseases or ailments, it is necessary to consult a specialist! Because self-medication can adversely affect health.
Contraindications to the use of plants
Despite the large amount of vitamins, as well as other nutrients that are part of this plant, there are a number of restrictions to its use. These are:
- Gestation period Since the barberry leads to ovarian dysfunction, as a result, the placenta is poorly excreted after childbirth.
- Increased acidity of gastric juice during gastritis. Medicines that contain this plant can cause exacerbation of the disease.
- Diseases of the cardiovascular system. The plant increases blood clotting, which can lead to the formation of blood clots. For the same reason, it is better to refuse it in people in the pre-infarction state.
- Hypotension. Barberry contributes to lowering blood pressure, which will significantly worsen the condition of a person with such a diagnosis.
- Children's age up to 12 years.
- Breast-feeding. Substances that get into the milk can cause allergic manifestations on the skin of the baby.
- Peptic ulcer of the stomach or duodenum.
- The presence of gallstones.
- Cirrhosis of the liver.
You should also not forget about individual intolerance or hypersensitivity to the barberry. Its use in such cases may adversely affect the state of health.
Important to remember! It is impossible to use immature fruits of a plant! Since during this period they contain a large amount of toxic substances.
This plant is used in areas such as cooking, traditional medicine, cosmetology. There are a large number of recipes for the preparation of useful medicines from its fruits, herbs, roots. On the most effective and popular tools should dwell.
For the preparation of therapeutic tea will require 1 tsp. dried berries of the plant, which should be filled with 1 cup of boiling water. Leave to infuse for 1 hour. Then you can drink it. This should be done before eating food. Besides the fact that such tea causes appetite, it also effectively relieves thirst. Optionally, you can add a little sugar in it.
Should take 2 tbsp. l berries of the plant, pour 1 glass of water. Put on the fire to boil for about 10 minutes, add 1 bag of vanilla sugar and boil for another 5 minutes. Leave to infuse for 2 hours. After the time the juice is filtered and consumed in unlimited quantities before eating.
This drink is very relevant in the hot season, because it helps quench thirst for a long period of time.
- To make kvass, pour the dried berries with water in a large container.
- Leave to infuse for 1 month.
- Then separate the berries from the resulting infusion, add sugar at the rate of 100 g per 1 liter of water.
- Leave another 1 day to insist. After time kvass is ready for use.
Decoction of the root
You will need to grate the barberry root, add hot water in a ratio of 1: 2. Put on a small fire for 15 minutes. Then let it brew for 4 hours. After the time, strain the broth and add another 2 cups of water. Take 100 ml of the drug 3 times a day. This decoction is very effective and has found its use in severe bleeding in women.
It should be remembered that in the presence of certain diseases, the use of barberry should be coordinated with your doctor. Indeed, despite the large number of useful properties, it still has harm and contraindications, which the patient can not guess. The doctor will evaluate the effectiveness of the use of this plant, taking into account the individual characteristics of the organism of each patient.
The barberry is often used to treat the liver, the endocrine system, and the common cold. The main parts of the plant have been used in traditional medicine, as well as in official treatment methods.
Everyone knows a beautiful barberry shrub, planting and caring for which does not require much attention and hassle. Dendrologists have more than 300 varieties of barberry. This shrub is.
One of the common berry bushes growing in the territories of Europe, Asia, North America, is considered the barberry. In nature, there are different varieties of this shrub. The most famous is the common barberry.