Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Your Guide To Herbs And Fruits Of Summer Pt. 2

So sorry I didn't post yesterday; my partner left Sunday for Iraq for a year....it's been a difficult few days.

Today I will share part 2 of your herbs and fruits of summer....


Herbs And Fruits For Summer

Eyebright (euphrasia officinalis)

Description: Small creeping perennial with small toothed leaves. Small white flowers, tinged red and yellow in center.

Habitat: Thrives in European meadows and grasslands, where it is semi-parasitic on the local wild grasses.

Part Used: Aerial parts

Preparations: Infusion and tincture

Medicinal Action: Powerful antiseptic, astringent and anti-inflammatory action. Traditionally used to treat eye infections, hay fever and sinus infections. Its astringent action helps to tighten the mucous membranes.

Active Ingredients: Iridoid glycosides, flavonoids and tannins

Lemon Balm (melissa officinalis)

Description: Perennial herb with lemony-scented leaves and tiny white flowers

Habitat: Sun loving herb, native to southern Europe, Asia and Africa

Part Used: Aerial

Preparations: Infusion, tincture, lotion, and essential oil

Medicinal Action: Relaxant, treats nervous digestive upsets, insect bites, bruises and toothache

Active Ingredients: Polyphenols

Chamomile (chamamelum noblile [Roman] )

Description: Aromatic, annual mat-forming herb with soft feathery leaves and daisy-like flowers

Habitat: Native to south and west European pastures and grasslands

Part Used: Flower Heads

Preparations: Infusion, tincture, syrup, infused oil, soothing compress, essential oi and herbal poultice.

Medicinal Action: Carminative, sedative for nervous disorders and insomnia. Reduces fevers and calms stomach upsets. External application for minor sunburn, diaper rash and minor wounds

Active Ingredients: Coumarins, proazulenes, farnesine and volatile oils

Cornflower (centaurea cyanus)

Description: Tall annual with branched stem and attractive blue many-floretedd flowers

Habitat: Native to the Middle East and neighboring territories

Part Used: Flowers, leaves and seeds

Preparations: Infusion

Medicinal Action: Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory eyewash for conjunctivitis. Also an antiseptic mouthwash for ulcers and sores. Seeds eaten as a digestive tonic and laxative

Active Ingredients: Glycosides, flavonoids, sequisterpenes

Chicory (cichorium intybus)

Description: Tall perennial with deep taproot and oblong leaves. Many petaled, bright blue flowers at midsummer

Habitat: Native to southern Europe. Thrives on disturbed, open ground

Part Used: Roots, leaves and flowers can all be used to create medical treatments

Active Ingredients: Inulin, caffeic adicd, sequisterpenes, lactones

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