Medicinal Plants

By Lucia Pennisi


The Elderberry (Sambucus)

Sambucus is a variety of flowering plants in the family of Adoxaceae. This variety develops in temperate to subtropical regions of the world.

Black elderberry has been used medicinally for hundreds of generations. Some qualifying studies indicates that elderberry may have a measurable effect in treating the flu, ease allergies, and boosting overall respiratory health. Elderberries contain natural substances called flavonoids. They help reduce swelling, fight inflammation, and rise the immune system.

Elderberries are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, dissolved in wine, for rheumatism and horrid injury.

Side effects: Elderberry supplements seem to have many risks when used daily for up to five days. The safety of its long-term use is not known.

  • Risks: Do not eat or drink any product made from raw elderberry fruit, leaves, or flowers. They consist of a chemical that produces cyanide. They can cause nausea, vomiting and at high doses it can cause more serious effects. People who have allergies to elder pollen might react to elderberry supplements. If you have diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis, discuss to your doctor about consuming elderberries before taking it.
  • Interactions: If you take any drugs or supplements regularly, talk to your doctor before you start using elderberry supplements. They could interact with chemotherapy, immunosuppressant drugs, diuretics, and laxatives.

  • Because of serious possible risks, elderberry is not suggested for children or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.


    Oregano (Origanum Vulgate)

    Hippocrates used oregano as an antiseptic, as well as a cure for stomach and respiratory ailments. A oregano is still used today in Greece as a palliative for sore throat.

    Oregano is used for respiratory tract disorders like coughs, asthma, croup, and bronchitis. It is also used for gastrointestinal disorders such as bloating and heartburn. Other uses include treating menstrual cramps, rheumtoid arthritis, urinary tract infections, headaches, and heart conditions.


    Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

    Catnip is a memeber of the mint family, aromatic herbs. It was introduced in Canada it's indigenous roots in the Mediterranean and Northern Africa.

    Catnip has been used for medicinal purposes since the 15th century, infact catnip tea was the most commonly consumed drink in Europe proceeding to the importation of teas from the orient.

    Catnip treats alot of medical issues like, fever, digestive issues, bladder dysfunction, discomfort from gassiness, bronchial congestion, colic, nervousness, menstrual cramps, colds and flu, insect repellant.

    Catnip contains a chemical named nepetalactone which has antibacterial properties. Catnip leaves have been used as a dressing for cuts and scrapes. Nepetalactone is also what makes catnip repel mosquitos and cockroaches when used in the form of a refined oil. Nepetalactone is also the chemical that attracts cats.


    Butterbur (Petasites hybridus)

    Butterbur is native to Western asia and Eroupe, it grows shady enviroments with moist soils. The roots are the most commonly used part from the Butterbur but the leaves, stems and flowers are also used. You can find many dietary supplements contain Butterbur as tonic and a stimulant for your body.

    Butterbur contains antihistamine and petasin which gives it the propeties to reduce swelling, act against spasms, allergies, migranes and soothe muscle aches whilst relaxing the blood vessels. Butterbur is proved to be exceptionaly effective in curing allergic rhinitis, asthma and hay fever. A recent study has how that consuming Butterbur daily redcuses the frequencey of migranes and headaches. Butterbur is also a cardiac tonic and as a diuretic which treats digestive disorders like stomach ulcers.

    If you wish to use butterbur extract, you should take mind of the ingredient list as it may contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids than can cause liver damage.


    Willow (Salix alba)

    The willows bark contains acetyl salicylic acid and is commonly known as asprin it has been used for pain relief for centuries. Willow grows in moist areas mostly thrives in Europe and grows up to 90 feet, you will find it does not grow in your garden.

    Willow gradually restores healthy bodily functions as well as relive pain, helps prevent return of fever, eliminates parasitic worms, reduces swelling/tenderness, help clean germs and micro-organisims, and stops capillary bleeding (prevents bruising, and clots the blood to help wounds form a scab and thus heal).