Medicinal plants and their use
Medicinal plants is a huge treasure which people have used for thousands of years in its history. Even now, in the era of rapid development of chemistry and biotechnology, medicines from plants is about half of all drugs used in medicine. And despite notable advances achieved in recent times by the pharmaceutical industry, medicinal plants occupy an important place in the medical Arsenal.
There are the following types of herbs: official medicinal plants and plants used in folk medicine. The first type includes plants used as raw material for the manufacture of drugs. The second group is part of a huge list of medicinal plants, not recognized by official medicine, but is widely used to treat ailments around the world.
Especially actively use recipes from medicinal plants in poor countries where conventional medicine is simply not available to the broad masses of the population.
The history of medicinal plants
The human use of herbal medicines has a long history. Probably, people started to use plants for healing ailments and wounds another before he began to use them for food. Our ancestors began to use the healing properties of medicinal plants, relying not on knowledge and experience, and on cutey animal intuition.
Studying sites of ancient people, archaeologists often find special tools for the preparation of medicines from plants. The first written evidence of the use of medicinal properties of plants found in Ancient Assyria. Most active medicinal plants used by the physicians of Ancient Egypt.
Widely used plants for medical practice in Ancient Greece. The great physician of antiquity Hippocrates paid much attention to the use of herbal preparations in the works. List of medicinal plants used by the Greeks, was quite large, many plants are physicians specially brought from remote places.
Medicinal plants have always been widely used among the Slavs. Information on medicinal plants used by the healers, confirmed by excavations by Russian and foreign written sources. In the XVII century in Moscow was opened “the pharmaceutical order”, who was involved in the harvesting and use of medicinal herbs. Produced a special herbalists in which explained which plants are medicinal and some medicinal plant to use for certain conditions.
Starting from the XVIII in Russia began to appear serious works certified physicians on the use of medicinal plants. Especially great was the interest of the doctors to the local plants. And no wonder: the medicinal plants of Russia are very diverse.
In the USSR medicinal plants widely used in medical practice. Laid special plantations for cultivation of medicinal plants, a clear system of data collection. Research teams actively studied medicinal plants of the USSR, their properties and methods of cultivation. In the establishment of numerous research institutes and specialized farms minmedprom of cultivated medicinal plants.
In the course of their life plants synthesize a variety of chemicals. They affect the body in different ways: some plants are poisonous, while others have medicinal properties. Substances that produce a therapeutic effect, are called active. An important feature of medicinal plants is, what active ingredients they contain.
Such substances belong to different chemical classes and have different structures. Here are their examples:
alkaloids (morphine, quinine, atropine, caffeine, etc.);
glycosides – a very extensive group of substances (cardiac glycosides, saponins, antraglikozidy, tannins, etc.);
essential oils (used in cooking, medicine and perfumery);
This is not a complete list. Plants is a real biochemical factory. Doctors and pharmacists each year are finding new interesting substances, sometimes in seemingly the studied plants.
The collection of plants
Collecting medicinal plants, we must remember that nutrients are often in certain parts of the plant (stem, root or flowers). The collector also should not forget that the concentration of drugs usually a maximum at certain times of the year.
The collector must perfectly know, what are the medicinal plants in the area, and to distinguish them from similar or related plants, with healing properties. Proper identification of medicinal plants is quite a complex science that requires a lot of practice. You must know not only Photos and descriptions of the medicinal plants that can give any Botanical Atlas or encyclopedia of medicinal plants, but also its natural appearance and the Botanical characteristics and be able to easily distinguish it from similar species that have low value or even harmful.
Some plants can collect before sunrise, and essential oils richer in plants growing on the southern slopes of the hills. Herbal medicinal plants also have its own nuances for collecting and storing.
Preparation of medicinal plants
For long-term storage of medicinal plants usually dried. In this case, different groups of medicinal plants require special rules drying. Plants are storehouse of essential oils, you need to dry at a low temperature and slowly. Otherwise the active substance will simply evaporate. Plants rich in glycosides, it is necessary to dry at high temperature (over 60 degrees).
The stems and leaves are best dried in the shade, and bark, roots and bulbs should be dried in the sun. Part of the plants require very quick drying. If you are not a very experienced collector, you’d better thoroughly figure out all the nuances of the workpiece. You can do this by going to the special website of medicinal plants.
Uses of plants
The use of medicinal plants is very diverse. Pharmaceutical industry uses it as raw material for many drugs. You can use herbs in the home, but how to use herbs, you should consult your doctor. Or the name of a herb find the site on the Internet.
Many medicinal plant have a strong impact, so do not self-medicate.
Herbal drugs and plants used for the treatment of various diseases of almost all body systems: circulatory, digestive, reproductive and other.
Plants and preparations from them and used to apply topically for the treatment of the musculoskeletal system and wound healing. Herbal medicines have anti-inflammatory and bactericidal effect, toning and soothing effect, can improve the metabolism.
Medicinal plants live around us, the plain grass or flower invisible can a real storehouse of nutrients and help the person to regain lost health. Examples and applicability of medicinal plants that you can easily come across:
the locust – inflammation; rosemary – eczema; barberry – Allergy; henbane – bronchial asthma; elderberry – inflammation; walnut – eczema, ulcers; St. John’s wort – diseases of the skin; cabbage – eczema, burns, ulcers; parsley – a diuretic; peppermint – diseases of the digestive, sore throats and colds.