October 2016

Herbal lore

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.

Buchweizen Buckwheat – blood vessel tonic

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.

Chili: Feuer fürs Leben Chilli – Fire of life

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.

Efeu Ivy – the evergreen lung cure

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.

Frauenmantel klein Lady's mantle – A woman's best friend

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.

Granatapfel: rubinrotes Kraftpaket Pomegranate – Ruby red and bursting with energy

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?

Kräuterkunde Hafer Oats – Powerful grains for combating fatigue

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.

Heidelbeere klein Blueberry – Good for the eyes and tasty to boot

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.

Holunder klein Elder – A remedy for the common cold that tastes good

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.

Ingwer klein Ginger – Warming power

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.

Kurkuma klein Turmeric – Miracle yellow tuber alleviates suffering

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.

Lavendel klein Lavender – Balm for the soul

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.

Löwenzahn klein Dandelion – The blowball cures flatulence

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.

Melisse klein Melissa – Balm for the heart and stomach

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.

Passionblume Kräuterkunde Passionflower – eases anxiety and panic

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.

Rose klein Rose – Queen of hearts

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.

Rosmarin klein Rosemary – Invigorating fountain of youth

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.

Wacholder: Vertreibt Wasser und Dämonen Juniper – A diuretic that wards off evil spirits

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.

Walnuss klein Walnut – Energy boost for the brain

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.

Zimt: Würziger Liebeszauber Cinnamon – An aromatic love potion

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.