Plants – Useful Plants Guide



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Useful Plants Guide
Useful Plants Guide - Herbal Recipes
Useful Plants Guide - Cosmetics
Useful Plants Guide - Aromatherapy
Useful Plants Guide - Medicinal
Useful Plants Guide - Medicinal Herbs
Useful Plants Guide - Medicinal Plants
Useful Plants Guide - De-pollutants

Angelica, Angelica archangelica
Culinary:
Cook and eat the Angelica roots as a vegetable.
Use a few young leaves in salads for extra flavour.
Medicinal:
Angelica is used in cases of infection, indigestion and flatulence. Teas can be made to calm the nerves.
Note: Not suitable to diabetics.
Cosmetic:
Use the leaves, dried or fresh, bagged in muslin for hot baths to calm nerves, relax and for fragrance.

Anise, Pimpinella anisum
Culinary:
Stewed fruits, vegetables, breads, pasta and cakes can be flavoured by Anise, which will also help with digestion. Add to salads, soups and rich dishes.
Medicinal:
Aniseed helps respiratory ailments and indigestion. A tea can be made to prevent and combat colds, influenza and flatulence.
Cosmetic: Use Anise oil as an antiseptic.

Balm, Melissa Officinalis
Culinary:
Use Balm as a seasoning to pork, lamb, chicken and fish., fruit- and vegetable salads and stewed fruit.
Medicinal:
Fevers, memory loss, headaches, neuralgia, appetite loss and digestion are treated with tea made of Balm leaves.
Cosmetic: Balm infusions help cleanse and perfumes the skin.

Basil, Ocimum basilicum
Culinary:
Basil is widely used in dishes ranging from soups to pastas. Basil and tomatoes make an excellent combination as we know, but try other vegetables too! Veal, liver, kidneys, fish and poultry also goes well with basil. Use with cream cheese in sandwiches for a refreshing summer lunch.
Medicinal:
Tea of basil can be drunk in cases of bladder-, lung-, kidney-, heart- and brain disease. It is known to relieve morning- and car sickness and headaches.
Cosmetic:
Basil oil is used as a tonic on the skin.

Bay Tree, Laurus nobilis
Culinary:
Flavour soups, casseroles or stews with savoury herb posies, consisting of bay-, marjoram-, thyme- and parsley leaves during cooking and remove before serving. Bay leaves add beautiful flavour to fish, meat and poultry.
Medicinal:
Bay oil can be used on earache, sprains, rheumatism, hysteria and flatulence.
Cosmetic:
Use with other soothing herbs in peace pillows to relieve insomnia.

Bergamot, Monarda didyma
Culinary:
The leaves of Bergamot are used beautifully in all summery dishes. Try adding it to vegetable-, pork- and veal dishes. Use in salads, sweet jellies and hot- or cold beverages. Tear the red to pink flowers apart and toss into salads.
Medicinal:
Treat colds, chest problems and sore throats with tea made from bergamot leaves.
Cosmetic:
Bergamot in a hot bath soothes aching bones and tired minds.

Borage, Borago officinalis
Culinary:
Chop borage leaves finely and scatter together with the beautiful flowers over salads. Use also in soups, again finely chopped.
Medicinal:
Borage tea is drunk to aid good blood circulation, as a remedy to heart problems and a tonic to urinary tract and adrenal glands. It is also known to reduce fevers.
Cosmetic: Use the leaves and flowers when doing a facial steam, or try a face pack of young leaves for dry skins.

Caraway, Carum carvi
Culinary:
Sprinkles the seeds over potato- or onion dishes, various vegetables and baking fruit. Use in homemade breads, biscuits and cakes. Try the leaves in soups and salads.
Medicinal:
The kidneys benefit greatly by the intake of Caraway, through the leaves, the seeds and also the root.
Cosmetic:
Drink teas made from Caraway to cleanse from the inside and get a clear complexion.

English Chamomile, Anthenis nobilis; German Chamomile, Matricaria chamomile
Culinary:
Chamomile is lovely in summer used in salads and cold beverages of water, lemon-juice and honey.
Medicinal:
Chamomile tea is used as a great remedy to tension, nervous problems, pms as it helps to calm and relax. Chamomile flowers added to sleeping pillows will bring on deep relaxation and eventually sleep. Infusions used to bath in reduce muscle pains and fatigue. Treat eye sty’s by bathing it frequently with cooled and strained chamomile tea.
Cosmetic:
Use the chamomile for facial steams and masks, lotions, soaps and after-sun creams. A hair rinse made of cooled chamomile tea is used to lighten hair.

Chervil, Anthriscus cerefolium
Culinary:
Chervil is used widely in dishes as flavour and/or garnish. Use finely chopped leaves with poultry and fish, vegetables, omelettes, soups and sauces - but never cook longer than 15 minutes or the flavour will be lost. Sprinkle over salads or sandwich fillings.
Medicinal: Eat chervil to clean the blood, ease rheumatism and aid the kidneys.
Cosmetic: Eat or drink to clean from the inside.

Chicory, Cichorum intybus
Culinary:
Toss some young leaves into salads or cook as a vegetable. The roots undergo a treatment to produce coffee substitutes and coffee additives.
Medicinal:
Chicory helps relieve constipation and is helpful to those suffering from bilious attacks and liver- and gal problems. It also, due to high insulin concentrations, acts as a sedative and tonic.
Note: Not suitable for those anaemic.
Cosmetic:
Used from the inside to help improve liver functions, it will help with a clear complexion.

Chives, Allium schoenoprasum
Culinary:
Chives are an excellent replacement to onions and/or garlic in cases where a subtler flavour and better digestion is needed. Therefore onion chives can be used as widely as both the onion and garlic in all kinds of dishes, salads and vegetables. Excellently used as a flavouring garnish.
Note: Never cook too long, for the flavour will be lost.
Medicinal:
Chives helps lower high blood pressure, acts as a kidney tonic and an appetite stimulant.
Cosmetic:
Chives eaten regularly will help with beautiful, strong nails, teeth and hair.

Comfrey, Symphytum officinale
Culinary:
Comfrey leaves can be eaten as a vegetable, much like spinach. Steam young leaves and sprinkle a little cheese over, add to salads or use as greenery on sandwiches.
Medicinal:
Comfrey infusions are used as a remedy to colds, insufficient circulation and to help with mending of broken bones. The roots and foliage are also used for sprains, bruises and wounds. Tea can be drunk to help clean the blood.
Cosmetic:
Used in facial steams or in creams to aid ageing, tired or dry skins.

Coriander, Coriandrum sativum
Culinary:
Ground Coriander seeds are used in curry- and spice blends, baked fruits, to flavor fish, meat and poultry and when pickling.
Medicinal:
A snuff made from crushed seeds relieves dizziness. Coriander teas are used to relieve urinary problems, to ease colic and for purifying blood.
Cosmetic:
By cleansing the body from within will clear complexions.

Water Cress, Nastertium officinale; Land Cress, Lepidium sativatum
Culinary:
Use cress generously in soups, salads and over sandwich fillings.
Medicinal:
Helps to ease headaches and purify the blood.
Cosmetic:
A clearer complexion, healthier hair and brighter eyes will be gained by regular intake of cress.

Dill, Anethum graveolens
Culinary:
Dill is widely used in pickles, sauces, chutneys, breads, vegetables and salads. Sprinkle chopped leaves generously over salads, into salad dressings and white sauces, over omelettes and sandwiches with cottage spread. Roast chicken, veal and lamb under a thick spread of dill leaves, make a dill soup or use as an elegant garnish.
Medicinal:
Dill is excellent for flatulence and digestion difficulties especially when using the seeds.
Cosmetic: Take dill for healthy nails.

Florence Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare dulce
Culinary:
The seeds are used for better digestion in breads, pastries, biscuits and pastas. Use chopped leaves (sparingly) over salads, rice, potato salads, fish and sauces. Place fish on a bed of foliage while baking. It is also good as garnish.
Medicinal:
Fennel tea helps relieve flatulence, is good for weight loss and is a good rinse for sore eyes.
Cosmetic:
Use fennel infusions, together with buttermilk and honey, for a cleansing lotion, or blend the infusion with honey and plain yoghurt for a effective face mask. Infusions made of the seeds can be used as a toner, or soaked infusion-cotton wool can be placed on tired eyes.

Garlic, Allium sativum
Culinary:
Garlic needs no introduction in the kitchen. Not only does it add brilliant flavour to dishes but also helps with digestion. The uses are never-ending and you’ll find it in Chinese-, Italian- and French cooking, to name a few. Its flavour is complementary to most dishes, meats and vegetables, whether cooked directly with the dish or used in a sauce like the very popular aioli. There are some people though that are a little careful of the strong aroma, and they might prefer to rather use a cut clove to rub bowls or dishes with, than using whole gloves in the food. Either way, garlic is appreciated universally.
Medicinal:
Again, universally, garlic is seen as a wonder-food. It’s known as a natural antibiotic and powerful antiseptic. It makes a great tonic for glands and cells, helps lower blood-pressure, prevent- and/or stop colds, help ease congestion of the chest, relieve rheumatism, cleanse intestines, avoid infections and expel worms. It cleanses the blood and whole system.
Cosmetic:
Garlic might be one of the best cures to acne, due to it’s cleansing properties. Eat as much, and as often, of it as possible or take it in capsule form.

Horseradish, Cochlearis armoracia
Culinary:
Grate fresh horseradish into sauces (alone or mix with a little grated apple or chopped mint leaves) and salad dressings. Beef, pork, poultry and fish are all complimented by horseradish and a summer salad should almost never be without it.
Medicinal:
The horseradish, which is very high in Vitamin C, is used for the respiratory system, to resist or relieve chest colds, for its antiseptic properties, to help with the circulatory system, relieving sinus and to help bring blood pressure down.
Cosmetic:
Mix a little root infusion with mild to use as a facial toner that will also lighten freckles.

English Lavender, Lavandula spica-, officianalis- or vera; French Lavender, Lavandula dentate; Italian/Spanish Lavender, Lavandula stoechas
Culinary:
Infuse whole lavender stalks with their flowers into white vinegar for delicate and beautiful salad vinegar.
Medicinal:
Lavender will calm the nerves, relaxes the body and relief symptoms of shock. A tea will help with relaxation and sleep difficulty. A few drops of oil in a hot bath will help with giddiness, nervous palpitations, faintness, and relaxation of the peripheral nerves. Rubbing of the oil will also ease rheumatic pains and help healing scar tissue.
Cosmetic:
Those suffering from acne and an oily skin should use lavender infusions as facial toners, the flowers or leaves can be tied into bath bags for a fragrant, yet refreshed, skin. Lavender is used to perfume bed linen, ‘peace pillows’, inside of cupboards, notepaper - to name but a few.

Lemon Balm, Mellisa
Culinary:
This herb is most delicious in sauces, syrups, fruit drinks, punches, salad dressings and make a beautiful garnish.
Medicinal:
Melissa has wonderful calming properties, used to treat high blood pressure, ease insomnia, treating over-anxiety, headaches and panic attacks. It is also used to cure chickenpox, cold sores, stings, rashes and shingles.
Cosmetic: Drinking melissa tea will help purify the body from inside.

Lovage, Levisicum officinale
Culinary:
Lovage makes a great option as seasoning to those on condiment-free diets. Chopped leaves are added to salads, stews and soups. It is great to use as a garnish too.
Medicinal:
Infusions of the roots help treat jaundice and urinary troubles and can be used as gargles for infections of the throat and mouth. Tea made of the leaves is useful in the treatment of gynecological problems and as a digestive stimulant, stomach disorders and to relieve fevers.
Cosmetic:
Drink tea to help cleanse the body.

Marjoram, Origanum majorana
Culinary:
Marjoram can be used to subtly flavor salads, soups, fish, poultry, vegetable- and egg dishes.
Medicinal:
Marjoram is used to treat colds, rheumatism, colic, cramps and digestive problems. Drinking the tea will induce sleep and ease nervous headaches.
Cosmetic:
Use as a hair rinse.

Oregano, Origanum vulgare
Culinary:
Marjoram can be used to subtly flavor salads, soups, fish, poultry, vegetable- and egg dishes.
Medicinal:
Marjoram is used to treat colds, rheumatism, colic, cramps and digestive problems. Drinking the tea will induce sleep and ease nervous headaches.
Cosmetic: Use as a hair rinse.

Applemint, Mentha rotundifolia; Eau-de-Cologne Mint, M. piperita citrata; Pennyroyal Mint, M. pulegium; Peppermint, M. piperita officinalis; Spearmint, M. spicata/ M. crispa/ M. viridis
Culinary:
Make mint sauce from a mix of Applemint and spearmint. Chop the leaves of these two mints and sprinkle over fruit salads, buttered new potatoes, egg dishes and cream cheese sandwiches.
Note: Pregnant women should stay clear of Pennyroyal mint, as it’s said to bring on miscarriages.
Medicinal:
Drinking mint tea will help treat- and prevent colds. Ice tea of peppermint, in summer, will make a beautifully refreshing beverage and can be blended with other teas. Treat indigestion with such a tea or drink a spearmint tea for revivifying effects.
Cosmetic:
As we know, mints are widely used in oral hygiene products like toothpastes. Spearmint will help for bad breath, to keep gums healthy and teeth white. It is also used as a cure to chapped hands and as a rinse for oily hair.

Curled Parsley, Petroselinum crispum; Italian Parsley, P. crispum neapolitanum
Culinary:
Parsley is famous as a garnish, both because of its beautiful foliage and for cleaning the palate with its fresh, earthy taste. Parsley is otherwise widely used in sauces, mashed potatoes, salads, omelettes, soups, poultry and fish.
Medicinal:
Teas made from parsley leaves is drunk for circulation, digestion and kidneys. The foliage is rich in many vitamins and iron. It’s known to help relieve piles and rheumatism.
Cosmetic:
As a toner and in lotions, parsley is said to help close large pores and refreshing tired skin.

Upright Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis; Prostrate Rosemary, R. prostrates
Culinary:
Rosemary is used widely in pasta- and vegetable dishes, and to flavor lamb, beef, pork, duck, rabbit and liver.
Medicinal:
Rosemary is known to stimulate good memory and is therefore a popular herb for students for instance. It also improves circulation, relieves headaches and treats colds.
Cosmetic: Rosemary has an energizing effect on the body and will make an excellent addition to morning baths. It’s used in shampoos as it prevents dandruff and revitalizes the scalp.

Sage, Salvia officinalis
Culinary:
Sage can be used with other herbs or on its own in many dishes, from vegetable- to meat- and fish dishes. It’s also complimentary to cheese- and egg dishes.
Medicinal:
Sage has a revitalizing effect on the liver and digestive system. It also energizes the body, but at the same time treat nervousness. Drink a tea for coughs and colds, to treat constipation and rheumatism.
Cosmetic: Sage is included in cleansing lotions, hair rinses, moisturizers and perfumes.

Salad burnet, Sanguisorba minor
Culinary:
Salad burnet is a must on the summer table. It goes brilliantly with cream cheese as a dip or sandwich spread. Sprinkle the whole leaves over green salads or use as a garnish with any cold meal.
Medicinal:
Drink the tea to help relieve rheumatism and treat wounds by rinsing outwardly with an infusion.
Cosmetic:
Help clear the skin by using an infusion as a tonic.

Savory (winter), Satureia Montana; Savory (summer), S. hortensis
Culinary:
Coat fish or pork with a dried savory herb mixed with breadcrumbs for extra flavor. Chop the leaves finely and add to white sauce, seafood sauces and soups. Use savory when no pepper is available.
Medicinal:
Respiratory- and digestive difficulties, flatulence and colic are treated by savory. Summer savory tea helps cleanse the body and rid it of toxins.
Cosmetic:
Savory tea taken regularly helps purify the body from within and results in a clear, beautiful skin. Add savory infusions to a bath for stimulating, refreshing and vitalizing the skin. Both savories also freshens your breath and mouth.

French Sorrel, Rumex scutatus
Culinary:
French sorrel can be eaten on its own, like spinach, or to add to soups, sauces and salads.
Note: Sorrel should never be cooked in aluminium
Medicinal:
Sorrel serves as a tonic to the kidneys and blood and aids with digestion difficulties and ongoing fevers. Note: French sorrel should not be eaten too frequently, due to the oxalic acid present in the plant.
Cosmetic:
Sorrel combats signs of ageing due to its high concentrates of calcium. Use sorrel in facial steams if you suffer from dry sensitive skin and acne.

French Tarragon, Artemisia dracunculus
Culinary:
Shellfish and fish, turkey, chicken, liver, kidneys, chicken- and fish soups, tartar-, Béarnaise- and sour cream sauces are greatly complimented by tarragon’s warming and aromatic fragrance.
Medicinal:
Tarragon is used to treat complications of the liver, head and heart.
Cosmetic:
Some beauty soaps incorporate tarragon oil for it’s warming scent.

Thyme (garden), Thymus vulgaris; Thyme (lemon), T. citriodorus
Culinary:
Thyme can just about be used in every- and any dish you can think of. Lemon thyme goes especially well with fish-, chicken- and turkey Mornays.
Medicinal:
Thyme has excellent antiseptic properties and is additionally used when treating colds, coughs, poor digestion, cramps and colic.
Cosmetic:
Many mouth washes and toothpastes, soaps and facial tonics include thyme. Those with a normal skin type may incorporate thyme into their facial steams. The oil of thyme is used as a pimple ointment.

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GENERAL WARNING
This website contains general information about medicinal plants and their uses. It is intended as a general overview and not as a medical handbook for self-treatment. Many of the medicinal plants described are highly toxic and may cause severe allergic reactions or serious poisoning. We cannot be held responsible for claims arising from the mistaken identity of plants or their inappropriate use. Do not attempt self-diagnosis or self-treatment. Always consult a medical professional or qualified practitioner.

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