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The medical plants (also called medicinal plants) are plant organisms containing substances capable of generating therapeutic benefits.
The plants, based on the data collected byWorld Health Organization (WHO), provide the active ingredients and adjuvants used in 25% of existing drugs and over 7,000 medical compounds are derived from plants.
Medicinal plants: origins
The use of vegetable medicines dates back to 1500 BC. when the ancient Egyptians used medicinal herbs such as myrrh, ivy and marjoram.
The first medical treaties well organized on benefits of plants instead, they are due to the Greek Hippocrates, in the 5th century BC, who took up the recipes and discoveries of Heracleides and Celsus, his predecessors.
The Romans, starting from the 1st century. A.D. promoted the cultivation of medical gardens, or gardens dedicated to hosting medicinal plants.
The first pharmacopoeia, with precise recipes, also in relation to chemical compositions, is due to the Arab civilization which also promoted the use of tinctures and spirits.
Medicinal plants: complete list by the Ministry of Health
The ministerial decree of 9 July 2012, within Annex 1 (updated on 16 January 2013), presents the complete list of plant substances and preparations with an indication of the part used and its physiological effects.
The file in .pdf format can be downloaded at this address of the official website of the Ministry of Health.
The list of the Ministry of Health is certainly complete but probably difficult to read as it contains the scientific names of the plants, which are often known to us all with other common names.
For this reason we have decided to offer you a new "shortened" list focused on 150 most searched medical plants on Google.
The criterion (certainly subjective) that we used in the our definition of "medicinal plants" includes: plants and shrubs, also with berries (therefore including berries but excluding fruit from tall trees), edible flowers or with healing properties is roots (e.g. carrots).
So here's ours list of the 150 most sought after medicinal plants, presented in alphabetical order, where for each plant we will write one or more in-depth sheets so that you can collect all information quickly and comprehensively.
- White fir
- Chaste tree
- Allium cepa
- Witch hazel
- Devil's claw
- Beautiful at night
- Boswellia serrata
- Cannabis sativa
- Milk thistle
- Digitalis purpurea
- Abrupt grass
- Beech tree
- Lotus flower
- White mulberry
- Wheat germ
- Ginkgo biloba
- Brewer's yeast
- Sweet clover
- Nigella sativa
- Water lily
- Do not forget me
- Fish oil
- Sea buckthorn
- Elm tree
- Chili pepper
- Butcher's broom
- Oak tree
- Red currant
- Castor oil
- weeping willow
- Alpine star
- Taxus baccata
- Green tea
- Jerusalem artichoke
Medicinal plants: books recommended to deepen the knowledge
The books on medicinal plants that you can find in the bookstore are many and often of good quality, even if there is no lack of “copied” or “improvised” texts.
To start playing it safe, I recommend three texts with an excellent value for money and you can receive them at home within 24 hours if you are subscribed to Amazon Prime, without paying shipping costs, here they are:
1. Illustrated atlas of medicinal and curative plants
A text beyond 280 pages which describes in detail and with beautiful illustrations most of the medicinal plants mentioned in our article, explaining their use and benefits.
It is currently on offer at 15.3 euros.
2. Guide to Medicinal Plants
This text by 446 pages written by pharmacist Ingrid Schönfelder and her husband, the botanist Peter Schönfelder, describes over 600 wild and cultivated European species: medicinal plants, poisonous plants and plants used in homeopathy.
The book includes over 700 color photographs with the main characteristics of the plants.
It is on sale on Amazon for 27.3 Euros
3. Medicinal plants in phytotherapy and homeopathy
A text by 331 pages published by Tecniche Nuove and written by Enrica Campanini that in which the therapeutic use of about one hundred medicinal plants identified among those that are normally used in the phytotherapeutic field is explored.
It is a practical consultation manual but at the same time impeccable in the scientific rigor with which each medicinal plant is described with a sheet that presents news about phytotherapeutic use, a sheet about homeopathic use and other useful information. It is currently on offer on Amazon at 29.67 euros.
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