The profiles of medicinal plants are taken from the health magazine Senso, which is published by Helsana four times a year. In each issue, pharmacist and phytotherapist Christine Funke explains the origins, effects and applications of a specific plant. Each profile is finished off with a mouth-watering recipe.
Its stalk is red like blood. Coincidence? Not really. Buckwheat bolsters our blood circulation. Our herb expert explains how it works. And also gives a recipe for an invigorating granola.
If you are constantly dying for some chocolate, why not try it with a bit of added chilli? Red chilli peppers reduce cravings for sweet treats. But that's not all: chilli also prevents muscle tension and stimulates circulation – and it can be addictive.
Ivy cures coughs and bronchitis. This discovery was made purely by accident. Even when the evergreen grows right before your door: beware the self-picked leaves. Find out how to mix a refreshing breakfast drink.
Lady's mantle alleviates numerous gynaecological ailments. It is said to surround women with a protective "coating". Herbalists prefer to collect it in the Venus month of May. We will tell you why.
Pomegranate seeds not only taste deliciously refreshing – they are packed full of vitamins and minerals too. The peel and the bark on the roots also have plenty to offer. Did you know that pomegranates, which were believed in Greek mythology to be the fruit of the gods, have a stronger antioxidant effect than green tea?
Oats strengthen nerves, make people fit to produce top sporting performances, lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels and help to alleviate itching. Whether added to bath products, tea or energy bars, oats have as many different uses as their wide-ranging effects.
Do you have trouble seeing at dusk? Medication containing blueberry extract is said to work miracles in this respect. Moreover, this tasty berry regulates digestion. The blueberry is particularly healthy in the form of juice. We have a delicious recipe for you.
Elder is effective against the common cold. This is by no means superstition, but scientifically proven. The substances contained in the black berries are even supposed to protect the immune system against influenza viruses.
A tuber which grows as densely as antlers and a sharp scent which is reminiscent of lemons: ginger is a special tuber – in many respects. It stimulates us, warms us up and makes us creative. Read about all the other things this spice is capable of.
Turmeric helps cure many ailments. However, the dark yellow relative of ginger not only peps up our bodies, it also spices up various dishes. It is particularly tasty in lemon rice which can be made in no time at all.
It is reminiscent of sun and sea. Lavender oil soothes itchy skin and overstrained nerves. A drop on your pillow is all it takes to whisk you away to the realm of dreams. However, lavender is also a reliable remedy for many ailments.
The dandelion probably reminds most of us of our childhood. One blow was all it took to make the countless white blowballs fly high into the sky. At that time, we were not yet aware of how healthy the flower is.
Melissa is said to have the combined effect of fifteen herbs. The nun, Maria Clementine Martin, who invented the "nun's melissa spirit" in 1775 was already well aware of this. It is very easy to make this brew by following our recipe.
An all-rounder is hidden behind the delicate passionflower: it alleviates anxiety and panic attacks, tension and mood swings. At the same time, it brings out the passion in us. Kick-start your day with the corresponding recipe.
It is the epitome of love, but it also has a very practical side: in the form of tea or rinses, the rose has an anti-inflammatory effect and it warms the heart as a tonic. Furthermore, as rose water it helps singers to achieve a clear voice.
The essence of the needle-shaped leaves promotes blood circulation and eliminates fatigue. In the Middle Ages, Rosemary was considered a fountain of youth. Thanks to it, Queen Isabella of Hungary is said to have found new love at the ripe old age of 72.
In folklore, juniper is said to offer protection from evil spirits. In herbal lore, it is considered to be a universal cure for conditions such as urinary tract infections or menstrual pain. Yet these are just some of the many benefits offered by these dark blue berries.
Have you ever thought of a brain when you look at half a walnut? The similar shape is astonishing – and not entirely coincidental. Read about all the things the "miniature brain" has in it and what powers we get from eating walnuts.
Ceylon cinnamon reduces flatulence and relieves cramps in the digestive tract. Its warming properties also make it an excellent alternative to a hot-water bottle. What's more, it is regarded as a sought-after aphrodisiac.