Published on March 5, 2014
PLANTS GROWING IN CROATIAN AREA
WINTER • Mistletoe • lat. Viscum album • Mistletoe is a hemiparasitic plant that grows on a wide variety of host trees such as pine, oak, birch, and apple. The term hemiparasitic is used to indicate that the mistletoe plant carries out photosynthesis independently but obtains water and minerals from the host.
• Mistletoe preparations have been used medicinally in Europe for centuries to treat epilepsy, infertility, hypertension and arthritis. • In folk medicine, it has been used for its cardiovascular properties, but its clinical efficacy has not been established. • Injectable mistletoe extract is widely used in Europe but is not licensed for use in the United States.
SPRING • Dandelion • lat. Taraxacum officinale • People use the above ground parts and root to make medicine. • Dandelion is used for loss of appetite, upset stomach, intestinal gas, gallstones, joint paint, muscle aches, eczema and bruises; to increase urine production and as a laxative to increase bowel movements; as skin toner, blood tonic and digestive tonic.
• In foods, dandelion is used as salad greens, and in soups, wine, and teas. The roasted root is used as a coffee substitute. • Dandelion is used for many conditions, but so far, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not it is effective for any of them.
SUMMER • Lavender • lat. Lavandula officinalis • Lavander has hundreds of uses. It is a fragrant aromatic, a relaxing herb, and it can be used in baking, lotion making, gourmet cooking, tea making, tinctures and much more. • By inhalation, lavender is used as aromatherapy for insomnia, pain, and agitation related to dementia.
• Lavender has the following properties: antidepressant, analgesic, antiseptic, cicatrizant, expectorant, nervine, vulnerary… • Especially beneficial to the respiratory tract in particular coughs, colds, influenza; certainly eases breathing when lungs and sinuses are choked with phlegm; defends system against airborne viruses.
AUTUMN • Horse chestnut • lat. Aesculus hippocastanum • Horse chestnut seed and leaf are used for treating varicose veins, hemorrhoids, swollen veins, diarrhea, fever, and enlarged prostate, eczema, menstrual pain, soft tissue swelling from bone fracture and sprains, cough, arthritis and joint pain …
• Horse chestnut is an astringent, antiinflammatory herb that helps to tone the vein walls which, when slack or distended, may become varicose, hemorrhoidal or otherwise problematic. The plant also reduces fluid retention by increasing the permeability of the capillaries and allowing the re-absorption of excess fluid back into the circulatory system.
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