We discover the properties of some plants and roots, useful to naturally cure one of the most common seasonal ills: the cold.
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) is an evergreen tree belonging to the Myrtaceae family. Native to Australia, it grows in temperate zones and in Italy it is widespread above all in the Center and South.
The eucalyptus can reach 120 meters in height, and is characterized by a trunk with smooth bark, ash gray or reddish yellow.
The young leaves are opposite and welded at the base, oval and heart-shaped and light green with bluish reflections, while the adult leaves are alternate and petiolate, lanceolate and arcuate, of a bluish green color with marked central veining. The flowers are single, of whitish color and enclosed in an operculum, placed near the leaf axil, appear from spring to summer. The whole plant has a characteristic aromatic smell.
- USED PART: Young leaves collected during the months of downsoel or September-October; essential oil extracted from the leaves.
- MAIN CONSTITUENTS: Essential oil (eucalyptol), polyphenolic acids (caffeic, ferullic, gallic acid), flavonoids (eucalyptin, hyperoside, rutin).
- ACTIVITY: Antimicrobial, expectorant, secretomotor, stimulant.
- INDICATIONS: Useful in inflammation of the respiratory system, in the cold, in the cough and in the case of bronchial catarrh; also useful in case of fermentative disorders in the gastrointestinal and halitosis. At the topical level it is used for disinfectant and cicatrizing properties. In cosmetics, by virtue of its properties, it is used as a deodorant, in products for impure skins, toothpastes and soap bars.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is a small perennial shrub belonging to the Lamiaceae family. It is very common, sometimes infesting, and present from zero to 2 thousand meters of altitude, prefers stony and dry environments.
The stem is rich in branches, the leaves are small, linear-lanceolate, and green-silver.
The flowers, white-pink or lilac, are grouped in spikes and appear from spring to late summer.
The whole plant gives off a pleasant aroma.
- USED PART: Leaves, flowering twigs collected in the months of May-July.
- MAIN CONSTITUENTS: Essential oil (thymol), flavonoids (apigenin, luteolin, thymonine), labial and caffeic acids, tannins.
- ACTIVITY: Antibacterial, antifungal, expectorant, antioxidant, antispasmodic, carminative.
- INDICATIONS: Infusion and syrup for asthenia, cough and diseases of the respiratory tract, digestive difficulties, aerophagia and meteorism. For external use the infusion can be used in washings and disinfectant tablets on sores and small wounds and in gargle for inflammation of the gums and throat. The antiseptic action of the essential oil is used in cosmetics for ointments and balsamic ointments, antibacterial creams and toothpastes.
Continue Reading: Cold sores: What they are and how to treat them?
Ginger (Zingiber officinalis) is a perennial plant belonging to the Zingiberaceae family, native to southern Asia and cultivated in most tropical countries.
Similar to the reeds, it has stems up to 1.5 meters tall with only leaves and shorter stems (20 cm) with a single yellow-green flower with purple spots. Ginger is endowed with a fleshy and succulent rhizome, with a characteristic aroma and flavor.
- USED PART: Fresh rhizome collected when the stems start to decay (December-January).
- MAIN CONSTITUENTS: Essential oil (alpha and beta zingiberene, bisabolene), spicy principles (gingerols).
- ACTIVITY: Antiemetic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, carminative, stimulating, antiseptic, anti-toxic.
- INDICATIONS: Useful in all disorders related to travel, also helps in case of nausea and vomiting, difficult and laborious digestion, fever, cough and cold. The dry rhizome is used as a spice in the kitchen and as a flavoring for the preparation of liqueurs and beverages.
Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), also called Pino comune, is an elegant conifer with an upright and slender stem and a reddish brownish bark with plaques. The foliage, light and not bushy, can have an oval or irregular shape.
The cravings are needle-like green charo, the male flowers are placed at the base of the bud, while the female ones are gathered in cones at the apex. The fruit (pigna) is an ovoid cone at the beginning of the greenish and then gray-blue. The Scotch Pine is common in the alpine and Apennine valleys up to 2 thousand meters of altitude. It is often cultivated as an ornamental plant.
- USED PART: Essential oil obtained from needles, resin.
- MAIN CONSTITUENTS: Essential oil (alpha pinene, beta pinene, borneol, limonene).
- ACTIVITY: Decongestant, expectorant, rubefacient.
- INDICATIONS: The essential oil is used in case of colds, coughs, bronchitis, neuralgia and inflammation of the oropharyngeal cavity. From the resin (turpentine) are obtained essence of turpentine, rosin and essential oils used mostly as solvents for paints and adhesives. Rosin is also used for the production of depilatory waxes.