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Grow natural remedies easily and inexpensively
Whether peppermint, lemon balm or valerian - natural remedies offer an uncomplicated and inexpensive alternative to conventional medicines and are becoming increasingly popular. While exotic products such as ginger and cinnamon have to be imported from afar, many other natural remedies can be easily grown in the home garden.
Ointments, tinctures or teas
Naturopathy and holistic medicine often offer an alternative and cost-effective treatment option for harmless diseases and many useful prevention options. In addition to physical and manual measures such as yoga, chi gong or osteopathy, traditionally include medicinal plants that are used, for example, as self-made ointments, tinctures or tea or in the form of a finished medicine.
Medicinal effects of African plants in cancer
On the one hand, this includes exotic plants such as devil's claw or ginger, whereby African medicinal plants in particular are often said to be highly effective. For example, scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have found in laboratory experiments that four tested benzophenones from Cameroonian plants prevented the spread of the tested cancer cell lines, including sensitive and resistant phenotypes. The study results were published in the specialist magazine "Phytomedicine".
Local herbs perfectly matched
Despite the attractiveness of the exotic, experts always explicitly point out medicinal herbs that grow here - because the vernacular says: "A person heals best by what comes from the same earth as he does." The example of St. John's wort shows that plants work best in their naturally occurring environment - because the plant from the Hypericacea family increases sensitivity to UV light, so that even smaller amounts of sunlight are sufficient, the so-called “happiness hormone” seretonin to produce. While the power of St. John's wort seems sensible to many people in this country, the effect in African countries, for example, would simply fizzle out with regard to many intense hours of sunshine.
In addition to the fact that medicinal plants are apparently particularly effective in their natural habitat, native plants have another decisive advantage over the exotic variants: They can be easily grown in your own garden and thus provide an alternative medicine chest right on the doorstep.
Overview of natural remedies
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
Valerian is particularly impressive due to its intense aroma - which cats allegedly like, but are rather unpleasant for humans. The "real" valerian has always been known as a medicinal plant, and was used as a panacea in ancient Greece. At the end of the 18th century, doctors recognized the calming and sleep-promoting effects of valerian - in later studies, valerian showed similar effects to the well-known sleeping and sedative "oxazepam", although the medicinal plant has fewer side effects.
If you want to plant valerian in your own garden, you should offer it sun or light shade, the soil should also be loose and deep, but a humus or sandy surface is usually not a problem either. Sowing is either in March (under glass or foil) or Late summer right where the seeds are supposed to be harvested.
Wild garlic (Allium ursinum)
The wild garlic lily is related to chives, garlic and the onion and as a wild vegetable is not actually one of the (classic) herbs, although it is mostly used as such in the kitchen. Bear's garlic was already known to the ancient Germanic and Celts as a medicinal product - the healing effects being attributed in particular to the predominantly sulfur-like essential oils in the leaves of the plant. On the one hand, these have a positive effect on digestion, the respiratory tract, liver, bile, intestine and stomach, and there is also often a curative effect in atherosclerosis, high blood pressure and intestinal diseases. In addition, wild garlic is said to have a positive overall effect on metabolism and cholesterol levels.
Planting wild garlic does not pose a major challenge for the gardener - sowing takes place in March and it is only advisable to fertilize it with compost on sandy and dry soils. The leaves are then harvested just before flowering in May and June.
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)
Comfrey, or "which is good for the bones", has been known as a medicinal plant for over 2000 years, even then the plant was considered helpful for broken bones, dislocations and joint problems. In addition, there are special mucilages in the roots, which can be applied to the skin in the form of ointments and compresses, alleviate mild inflammation and pain and support wound healing.
For cultivation in the garden, root pieces without sprouts are stuck 5 to 8 centimeters deep into the ground at a distance of one meter, whereby the comfrey likes to be a bit shady and moist. The best time to plant is from April to May.
Nettle (Urtica dioica)
The root of the nettle makes it easier to urinate in the case of benign prostate enlargement and helps against mild urinary tract infections, the leaves also suppress inflammation-promoting and cartilage-degrading proteins and can therefore be helpful for arthritis. In addition, the nettle is generally considered a good supplier of vitamin C.
Since it already exists in many gardens, it rarely needs to be planted separately - if it does, it thrives optimally in moist and nitrogen-rich soil. Harvest time for the roots in late summer and for the leaves is the period from spring to autumn.
Goldenrod / Giant Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea)
The goldenrod has been known for around 700 years as a medicinal plant against urinary tract infections such as urinary problems, and is also said to have an anti-inflammatory, slightly antispasmodic and preventive effect against bladder stones.
The goldenrod is also a fairly straightforward plant - it thrives in plenty of light as well as in partial shade, but she particularly likes loose, light soil with sufficient lime.
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)
Black elderberry has long been known as a medicinal plant, and Hippocrates, a doctor in ancient Greece, recommended the shrub as a water-driving agent - therefore elderflower and berries are still considered a traditional remedy for fever, runny nose and cough.
Despite its numerous qualities, the elderberry is undemanding when grown and in principle thrives on any soil - but preferably on moist, loamy subsoil with a high humus and lime content. Elderberry bushes take up a lot of space and grow both in the sun and in partial shade - the best time for planting is October.
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)
Already revered by the Germanic tribes as a "holy plant", chamomile is still considered a universal remedy in naturopathy: Whether for stomach ache or sore throat, runny nose, cough or also for skin problems such as acne - the possible uses are varied and the effectiveness in many cases very high .
For cultivation in your own garden, humus-rich, slightly loamy soil and plenty of sunlight are recommended. Sowing takes place from April to May, ideally in rows with a distance of about 30 centimeters - the more distance there is between the individual chamomile plants, the better they can branch out and develop their flowers.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
The main active ingredients of peppermint are in the essential oil - peppermint oil - which has an anticonvulsant and expectorant effect and can thus help with irritable bowel movements, for example. Peppermint, for example, can also relieve headaches when applied externally.
The best places to plant peppermint plants are moist locations with light penumbra, planting either in spring or autumn. When growing peppermint, it is important to avoid the so-called "peppermint rust" - a dangerous pest that spreads especially in close cultures.
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Sage has long been known as a medicinal herb for hoarseness, sore throat and gingivitis, and sage in higher doses can help against excessive sweating.
Since the plant comes from sunny, warm, rather stony surroundings, the sage also thrives best here in places with lots of sunlight and permeable soil. Sage cultivation works best when plants that have already been brought up are bought from the gardener and then put into their own bed in mid-May.
When buying plants, pay attention to organic quality. If you want to cultivate your own alternative "medicine chest" in your own garden, you should, according to the recommendation of the German Federal Agency for Environment and Nature Conservation (BUND), be careful when choosing sources of medicinal plants and medicinal shrubs. Because "game forms, permanent herbs - perennials and small shrubs also for the kitchen - as well as domestic shrubs not all nurseries and perennial nurseries offer, and certainly not a hardware store," according to the information on the BUND website. In addition, the plants should be bought in organic quality if possible in the sense of the ecological idea. (Nr)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Dipl. Social Science Nina Reese
- Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU): Substances from African medicinal plants can stop tumor growth (published June 5, 2013), uni-mainz.de
- Kuete, V .; Tchakam, P. D .; Wiench, B .; Ngameni, B .; Wabo, H. K .; Tala, M. F .; Moungang, M. L .; Ngadjui, B.T .; Murayama, T .; Efferth, T .: Cytotoxicity and modes of action of four naturally occuring benzophenones: 2,2 ', 5,6'-tetrahydroxybenzophenones, guttiferone E, isogarcinol and isoxanthochymol; in: Phytomedicine, Volume 20, Issue 6, April 2013, sciencedirect.com
- Roger Kalbermatten: essence and signature of the medicinal plants Reading excerpt essence and signature of the medicinal plants, AT Verlag AZ Fachverlage AG; Edition: May 10, 2019
- Heinrich Marzell: History and Folklore of German Medicinal Plants, Reichl, Otto Der Leuchter, January 1996
- Eva Fauma: Home remedies from herb pot and garden: Simply grow medicinal plants yourself, Facultas / Maudrich; Edition: March 1, 2018